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Sexual Assault in Hotels

While it is believed that sexual assault incidents in hotels have been on the rise, it is difficult to accurately report the precise number because many go unreported. Sexual assault in hotels can affect both hotel employees and customers alike. Whether you are a hotel patron or employee, 

you deserve justice as a survivor of a sexual assault attack. At Gerling Law, not only do we want to see the perpetrators held criminally accountable, but we seek to hold any party involved civilly liable as well. Liability can extend beyond the perpetrators themselves, and often, the hotel can be responsible for failing to implement proper security and safety measures.

Hotel Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a broad term encompassing many types of criminal offenses, including:

  • Rape,
  • Attempted rape,
  • Sexual battery,
  • Sexual misconduct,
  • Forcible sodomy,
  • Fondling and groping,
  • Sexual conduct with someone who is incapacitated,
  • Unwanted or coerced sexual touching or kissing,
  • Any sexual contact with a minor,
  • Kidnapping,
  • Sexual harassment,
  • Propositions for sexual favors, and
  • Any threats or repeated attempts of sexual violence.

No matter the circumstances, if you survived a sexual assault attack in a hotel, you have rights and options.

Can a Hotel Be Liable for Sexual Assault?

If a hotel fails to take reasonable steps to protect guests or their employees from harm and a sexual assault takes place, the hotel may be liable for any injuries and damages endured by the survivor.

The basis for liability may include:

  • Inadequate security personnel, cameras, and locks;
  • Failure to maintain a guest registry;
  • Inadequate lighting in public spaces;
  • Failure to conduct employee background checks;
  • Lack of employee and staff training;
  • Failure to maintain incident reports; and 
  • Lack of clear reporting procedures.

Sexual assault survivors can undoubtedly seek justice through the criminal court system. All survivors should report their attack and pursue charges. However, in addition to holding the perpetrator criminally liable for their actions, survivors can seek civil retribution and monetary damages. Speaking with an attorney ensures survivors do not miss their opportunity to seek justice.

Damages for Cases Involving Sexual Assault in Hotels

Damages for a civil sexual assault case consist of monetary compensation for survivors. Damages are a way to provide justice and help survivors in rebuilding their lives. Survivors can seek damages from any liable defendant, including the perpetrator themselves or the hotel. Every case is unique, but there are generally three types of damages: economic, noneconomic, and punitive.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are compensatory. In other words, they intend to compensate survivors for their financial losses, including medical bills, therapy costs, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages are also compensatory. However, they compensate a survivor for intangible, subjective losses, including pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive Damages

The third type of available damages is punitive damages, which are not meant to compensate a survivor for their loss. Rather, they aim to punish a defendant for particularly atrocious conduct and deter others from such behavior. The courts rarely award punitive damages, but in hotel sexual assault cases involving egregious misconduct, they may be warranted.

Attorneys for Sexual Assault Survivors

We have put our clients first for over 50 years at Gerling Law. If you or someone you love survived a hotel sexual assault, we can help you seek the justice you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a confidential, compassionate, no-cost consultation.

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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