LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A $10 million claim was filed Thursday against the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula on behalf of a woman who alleges she was raped by an employee during her March stay.
Breaking down in tears, a woman known only as Michelle recounted her experience during a Thursday news conference.
“I’ve recently gone through the worst time of my life,” she said during a Thursday news conference with attorney Gloria Allred. “After the sexual assault, I was a wreck, dealing with feelings of anger, sadness, depression, shame and disbelief.
“The only consolation I had was that I put my faith in the Riverside DA’s office that justice would be done,” she continued. “However, I was wrong, very, very wrong.”
Michelle said she was staying at the Temecula resort in March when, after a night of drinking, she found that her room key would not work. She said she called the lobby for help getting into her room. Afterward, she said an employee of the hotel came back to her room and raped her.
“I could not comprehend how and why the DA was not prosecuting,” she said. “I was raped and taken advantage of while I was inebriated. The person who raped me was an employee at Pechanga, and because he was an employee I put my trust in him, believing he would act in my best interest and help me.”
Michelle said she reported the rape and underwent a rape kit, but the district attorney chose not to prosecute the employee.
“After being victimized by him that horrible night, I was victimized again by the DA’s office when I was told they weren’t going to prosecute,” she said.
She said no reason was given, but Allred said the employee broke the law because he admitted during questioning that he knew Michelle was intoxicated.
“Due to her known intoxication, Michelle was incapable of giving legal consent to the employee for any sexual contact,” Allred said.
Both Michelle and Allred said they wanted answers and would work to hold the resort accountable.
The employee was not being named and his job description was not being released. It was unknown if he was still working with the resort.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said the case was ongoing and under review. Pechanga has yet to release a statement about the suit.