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Ritz-Carlton guest says water ‘defiled with semen’: lawsuit

A Ritz-Carlton hotel guest says an employee served a contaminated water bottle “defiled with semen,” according to a federal lawsuit.

A Ritz-Carlton hotel guest says an employee served a contaminated water bottle “defiled with semen,” according to a federal lawsuit.

Complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

A married couple who consider themselves long-time loyal customers of Ritz-Carlton hotels say they were served a water bottle “defiled with semen” during one of their stays in November 2022.

According to a new federal lawsuit, a Ritz-Carlton employee brought several water bottles, including a “contaminated” one, to the couple’s room at the Half Moon Bay resort in northern California, where they stayed to visit their daughter who studied at a nearby university.

When the woman, who was also celebrating her birthday that weekend, drank one of the bottles as her husband slept, she immediately thought “something was wrong” with the taste and woke him up, a complaint filed Oct. 12 in federal court says.

She told him she suspected the water was “chemically-contaminated” before realizing the taste was “similar to semen,” according to the complaint.

“Unbeknownst to (them), one the hotel’s employees ejaculated his semen into a Ritz-Carlton labeled water bottle,” the complaint says.

After hotel management was alerted and the San Mateo Sheriff’s Office responded, the complaint says the woman’s suspicions about the water were confirmed by laboratory testing ordered by the Ritz-Carlton.

Now the couple, only identified as Jane and John Doe, are suing the luxury hotel brand and its parent company, Marriott International Inc. The defendants are accused of hiring and employing a sexual “deviant.”

The couple seeks damages exceeding $75,000 the complaint shows.

A hotel spokesperson declined a request for comment from McClatchy News on Oct. 26, as the hotel does “not comment on pending litigation.”

McClatchy News also contacted the San Mateo Sheriff’s Office for comment on Oct. 26 and didn’t receive an immediate response.

According to the complaint, someone from the sheriff’s office responded to the Half Moon Bay resort in November 2022 and spoke with the woman regarding the water bottle.

Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Javier Acosta confirmed to The Mercury News that its department conducted a “welfare check” at the hotel and offered the woman to be seen by a poison control center, which she refused.

Acosta told the outlet the department did not carry out an investigation into the matter.

Attorney Terrence Matthew Jones, who is representing the couple, of Cameron Jones LLP law firm based in Beverly Hills, told McClatchy News on Oct. 26 that one of his client’s main concerns is “that this deviant is caught so that no one else is victimized.”

“Thus far, the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott have been more concealing than cooperative, obviously to try to protect their reputation rather than their hotel guests,” Jones said.

According to the complaint, the Ritz-Carlton sent the water bottle to a lab for testing but has not provided the couple with the test results.

On Jan. 12, a Marriott International claims adjustor spoke with the woman over the phone and said the lab results “revealed that the fluid in the water bottle had been defiled with semen,” the complaint says.

The complaint further accuses the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott of withholding the contaminated water bottle from police — preventing a law enforcement investigation — and failing to help figure out who was responsible for the incident.

“The Ritz-Carlton refused to cooperate with law enforcement’s investigation to identify and apprehend the assailant, and refused to compensate Jane and John Doe for the sexual assault beyond offering them a few measly Marriott rewards points — which, of course, could only be used for another anxiety-inducing stay at a Ritz-Carlton property,” the complaint says.

Half Moon Bay is about 30 miles south of San Francisco.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the southeast and northeast while based in New York. She’s an alumna of The College of New Jersey and joined McClatchy in 2021. Previously, she’s written for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and more.

https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/article281034358.html Ritz-Carlton guest says water ‘defiled with semen’: lawsuit

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