A 45-year-old Pennsylvania man who was acquitted of molestation after ending up in the wrong Ritz-Carlton room â€“ and in bed with a nine-year-old girl â€“ claims the hotel is responsible.
Daniel Hughes is suing the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, St Louis, for unspecified damages.
He claims a clerk gave him a key to the wrong room after he’d been out drinking and it led to him being prosecuted.
A nine-year-old girl had claimed Hughes, 42 at that time, had climbed into bed with her wearing only his underwear, and touched her sexually on the morning of March 6, 2011.
Scott Rosenblum, Hughesâ€™ attorney, argued that Hughes only cuddled the girl, thinking he was in bed with a woman he’d been out drinking with earlier.
He also argued that Hughes was staying at the Ritz for a business conference and confused his current room number with the room number he had at a previous hotel, which was room 1619.
His room at the Ritz was 811 and he misplaced his key, which is what led him to request the key for room 1619 from the front desk.
A jury found Daniel Hughes not guilty in April of 2014 of child molestation and statutory sodomy.
Hughes filed the suit against the Ritz on February 19th and claims that the hotel was negligent when they gave him the incorrect key without checking what room he was actually in, and for failing to ask him for his ID.
Hotel staff failed to take “any reasonable and customary key-security precautions that are standard within the hotel industry, and particularly within the luxury hotel market to which the Ritz-Carlton belongs,” the suit alleges.
He also claims that the key mix-up cost him a position with Enterprise Leasing Company where he’d earned nearly half a million dollars the year before the incident, and where he claims he could have made over $1 million in 2015.
After the initial trial, the girl’s parents sued Hughes for $50,000 spread over five yearly payments.
He was able to settle the suit later that year for an undisclosed amount.