77
      Tuesday
      86 / 69
      Wednesday
      82 / 63
      Thursday
      79 / 57

      Family sues hotel after man gets in bed with 9-year-old girl

      Ritz-Carlton Hotel in St. Louis (Clayton)
      The family of a child allegedly molested by a drunken guest at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in suburban St. Louis is suing the hotel.Police say Daniel Hughes, 42, returned to the upscale hotel drunk around 4 a.m. on March 6th.Hughes was staying at the nearby Sheraton hotel while attending a meeting but planned to spend the night with a co-worker at the Ritz, police said.When Hughes got the to Ritz-Carlton, he went to the front desk to get a key.My key won't work. I'm in this room, Clayton Police Chief Tom Byrne said as he described how Hughes got the clerk to give him a new key. But it wasn't his room, it was the room number of the hotel he'd been staying at the previous night.Hughes then went to the room he got the key for and tried to open the door. The key worked, but the chain was latched from the inside. Reports say Hughes forced his way in, breaking the door chain. Hughes then allegedly crawled into bed with the 9-year-old girl, who was in the room with her sister and a friend while the girl's parents slept in an adjoining room.He thought it was a female friend of his roommate and that everything would be okay, Chief Byne said. At this point there is no evidence that it was premeditated.When the girl woke up, she alerted her parents that there was a man in the room. The parents called police. Prosecutors charged Hughes with three counts of child molestation and one count of sodomy that allege he touched the child inappropriately.KMOV-TV in St. Louis reports that Hughes was caught in the lobby, wearing just his underwear. Police say he told them he was drunk and didn't realize he was in bed with a nine year old girl. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the suit was filed Tuesday. It seeks at least $5 million in damages each from hotel owners and operators, from Daniel Hughes and from his employer, Enterprise Leasing.When asked if the hotel clerk broke any laws by giving Hughes the wrong room number, Police Chief Byrne said: He didn't break any laws. but he certainly shouldn't have issued a key without identification and my understanding from the Ritz is the clerk has resigned. Hughes is back in Philadelphia after posting bond. What do you think? Is the hotel partly responsible for what happened?(The Associated Press contributed to this story)
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