MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A woman who was allegedly raped by a co-worker at a Myrtle Beach hotel in April 2019 is suing the hotel’s owners and its management company, accusing them of neglectful behavior in their hiring of her attacker.
The lawsuit was filed in Horry County Common Pleas Court against Sree Hotels, doing business as the Residence Inn by Mariott Myrtle Beach Oceanfront, Sree MB Hotel Partners, Marriott International and Grandeur Management.
Grandeur Management was among several Myrtle Beach businesses indicted in June by a federal grand jury on charges of visa fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The lawsuit said the hotel owners contract the company to provide workers “at wages below that which were prevailing in Myrtle Beach.”
According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by News13, the 19-year-old — who was named in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe — was working as a laundry attendant at the hotel at 2605 S. Ocean Blvd. when she was allegedly raped in a linen room by Carlton Sanderson, a native of Jamaica, who was later charged with “criminally sexually assaulting” the woman.
During the rape investigation, the lawsuit said Sanderson admitted to “having previously forced and/or coerced other women to submit to sex in his native country of Jamaica.” Authorities also determined that he was in the United States illegally and “unlawfully employed” by the defendants, circumstances that prompted him to be deported to “face criminal charges abroad,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit, which asks for punitive damages, said the defendants failed to “exercise reasonable care in the hiring, retention and supervision of their agents, servants and/or employees.
In addition, the lawsuit said the “defendants breached their duty by failing to exercise due or slight care in contracting with Grandeur Management, Inc. to provide staffing services despite readily available information confirming Grandeur Management, Inc.’s history of operating in violation of federal law and of engaging in illicit practices including human trafficking and visa fraud.”
It also said the “defendants knew or should have known of the danger of contracting with a staffing agency known to be involved in human trafficking and visa fraud and the need to adequately protect employees and guests from the risks posed by employees procured through an illicit enterprise.”
The lawsuit also described the defendants’ actions as “reckless, wanton and willful” and that the “defendant’s negligent and grossly negligent acts were a direct and proximate cause of Plaintiff’s injuries and damages.”