Loews Hotel Blamed for Massage Sex Assault

     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – After its masseur with a criminal record sexually assaulted a guest, the Loews Philadelphia Hotel treated her with “callous disregard,” she claims in Federal Court.
     Though the July 10 complaint names both the guest and her alleged attacker, Courthouse News has redacted the names because of the sensitive nature of the claims. Loews has not returned a request for comment.
     The plaintiff says she checked into the hotel on Oct. 14, 2014, because her employer was holding banquet there and recognizing her specifically for outstanding performance.
     Hours before the Oct. 16 banquet dinner, the plaintiff arrived at the hotel’s 12 Fit Gym and Spa for a massage.
     The plaintiff says she had requested a lower-back massage when she made the appointment, and that she disrobed and covered her body with a sheet while waiting face down on the table for the massage to begin.
     Claiming that the masseur removed the sheet, the guest says he “unnecessarily [left] her naked body exposed.”
     After pouring lotion on her, the masseur “engaged in repeated, improper and nonconsensual sexual contact with [the plaintiff] by, among other things, inserting his fingers into her vagina and anus on multiple occasions,” according to the complaint.
     When the plaintiff tried to resist, the masseur allegedly “forced her legs up and held them down” while continuing to assault her.
     The plaintiff says she finally pushed herself off the table while pleading for the masseur to stop.
     She claims he offered to help put her clothes back on, and that she finally made it to the front desk, “shaking and upset,” to report what happened.
     When the guest revealed that the masseur had sexually assaulted her, “the front desk agent acted with callous disregard to [the plaintiff] plight,” according to the complaint.
     “Among other things, the front desk agent refused to move [the plaintiff] to a private location so she could describe what had happened to her outside the hearing of other guests and [the plaintiff’s] co-workers, who were passing the front desk on their way to the company banquet,” the complaint states.
     Furthermore, the front desk agent allegedly told the plaintiff to go to the banquet and come back afterward when a manager would be available.
     The plaintiff says she complied because she was “in shock and not wanting to cause a scene.”
     No managers were available after banquet either, however, and hotel staff allegedly asked the plaintiff what they should do, rather than heed her plea to call the police.
     “Most egregiously … the Loews Hotel staff refused to provide” a private room for the plaintiff “to describe the details of her assault outside the purview of other guests in the lobby,” the complaint states.
     The plaintiff says her own co-workers were among those the hotel let gawk at her.
     “While shaking and crying, [the plaintiff] was forced to replay the details of her assault to the Loews Hotel staff, who had just witnessed her being awarded, and responding police in public view of her colleagues and strangers in the lobby,” the complaint states.
     The plaintiff says she ultimately learned that the masseur who attacked her had “a lengthy criminal record, including a then-recent charge for indecent assault.”
     When the plaintiff was describing her ordeal, though, the unsympathetic hotel staff focused only on distancing Loews from the masseur “by claiming he was not a Loews Hotel employee.”
     The plaintiff seeks punitive damages for assault, battery, negligence and other claims. She is represented by David Concannon in Wayne, Pa.

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