CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man who was acquitted of molestation after ending up in the wrong suburban St. Louis hotel room alleges in a lawsuit that the hotel is responsible because a clerk gave him the wrong room key.
Daniel Hughes, of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, was acquitted in April 2014 of three counts of child molestation and one count of statutory sodomy filed after he went into the wrong room at Ritz-Carlton in Clayton and got into a bed with a 9-year-old girl.
Hughes sued the hotel on Feb. 19, alleging that the incident caused him to lose a lucrative job, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/24r8P76 ).
Amanda Joiner, general manager of the hotel, said the company doesn't comment on pending litigation.
The Ritz-Carlton didn't immediately respond to an email and telephone call from The Associated Press Thursday seeking comment.
The 9-year-old girl claimed Hughes touched her sexually after getting into her bed. Hughes' attorney, Scott Rosenblum, argued during the trial that Hughes only cuddled the girl, thinking he was in bed with a woman he had been out with earlier.
Rosenblum said Hughes, who was attending a business conference and had been out drinking, said he could not find his room key and could not remember his room number. When his key didn't work, he went to the front desk to get a key. The lawsuit said the Ritz-Carlton and Maritz, Wolff & Co., which runs it, were negligent in failing to check his identification and the guest register and failing to give him the correct key.
Hughes said in his lawsuit that the mistake caused him to lose a lucrative position with Enterprise Leasing Co. In the year before the incident, Hughes earned $480,000 and likely would have earned more than $1 million in fiscal year 2015, he said in the lawsuit.
After the criminal trial, Hughes settled a lawsuit filed by the girl's parents for $50,000. The Ritz also settled with the parents for an undisclosed amount.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com