Cheri Marchionda has settled a lawsuit with an Embassy Suites hotel in Des Moines after she was raped in her room almost five years ago.
According to the lawsuit, Marchionda was staying at the hotel on April 11, 2014 for a business trip and was in the hotel’s bar when a man, later identified as Christopher LaPointe, approached her. She rejected his advances.
Later that night, she woke up to LaPointe in her hotel room touching her leg. He then battered and raped her for several hours.
Police reports said that LaPointe asked the front desk for and been given a key to Marchionda’s room. The front desk attendant didn’t ask LaPointe for proof that he was registered to that room. LaPointe had difficulty getting into her room at first because she engaged the door’s safety latch. He eventually convinced a maintenance worker to disable the lock because he said he had a fight with his “girlfriend” and she locked the door.
The lawsuit alleged that the manager, desk clerk and maintenance worker all violated the hotel’s internal policies by failing to check with Marchionda before turning over a key to her room and then opening the door.
Marchionda’s attorney, Peter Villari, said the attack caused her to develop post-traumatic stress disorder and she lost her job because of it. Her doctor says she will require at least six months of mental health treatment before she can go back to work.