After it broke last week that Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa was claiming it was the fault of the victim and her two toddlers that she was raped in their parking garage, the hotel has decided to withdraw the claim. They also apologized for the rape in a general sort of way—but not for subpoenaing her friends and professional acquaintances who otherwise would not have known about the crime.
Update: Thanks to our readers who continue to follow up on this story and post links to more detailed articles, we now know a lot more about the situation. We thought, considering how scandalicious the accusation is, the fair thing to do is to repeat Marriott’s side of the story—which is that the hotel’s lawyers never made the claim directly, and that they tried to get it removed from their defense well before anyone else heard about it.
Here’s what Marriott has claimed in this Associated Press article:
- Marriott says they did not subpoena anyone yet, and have not disclosed the woman’s identity:
Marriott attorney Donald Derrico said the company was trying to determine the effect of the crime on the victim and that subpoenas have not been issued. The hotel will decide whom to subpoena on a case-by-case basis, he said.
“Her name was never, ever, ever disclosed to anyone,” Derrico said.
- Derrico “said that Marriott officials asked his law firm to withdraw the claim in July, but that his associate had not done so because his mother died.”
In this article from Greenwich Time, Marriott’s lawyer says pretty much the same thing:
“From its inception, the legal case involving this tragic incident has been handled by the insurance company and its lawyers under the terms of the hotel’s insurance policy, as is customary where an insurance company bears the risk of loss,” said Stamford attorney Marc Kurzman in a statement from the hotel. “Interestingly enough, when we recently learned of this defense we requested that it be withdrawn.”