Woman sues hotel for giving room key to rapist

Jonathan Padilla is seen in surveillance video from the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Lebec, Calif., on the night when a woman was sexually assaulted by him at the hotel. (Still image from provided video)

A woman who claims she was sexually assaulted in her hotel room is suing the hotel for giving the perpetrator access to her room.

The claim, which was filed on Dec. 17, 2014, alleges the perpetrator, Jonathan Padilla, was noticeably intoxicated from drugs and alcohol. It says he initially offered to pay $100 for sex with the receptionist at Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Lebec. She reportedly denied him and threatened to call authorities.

Security footage obtained by Eyewitness News shows Padilla walking up to the woman's room, three rooms away from his, and tampering with the peep hole on the door. At the time, the woman's lawyer said she was asleep with her boyfriend, who worked with Padilla.

Padilla headed back to the receptionist, this time to ask for a room key to the woman's room. The lawsuit says Padilla used the woman's boyfriend's name to get a key, and without identification verification, the receptionist gave him a key.

"(The receptionist) does not obtain any government-issued ID, a license, some sort of California identification card, military ID or passport," Brian MacCormack, attorney for the woman, said over the phone Wednesday. "Instead, just makes a key and hands it to him."

The perpetrator entered the woman's room and raped her. He was caught on surveillance video leaving the room with his pants around his ankles. Padilla pleaded guilty to unwanted sexual penetration by a foreign object and was sentenced to three years in prison but was released in 2015.

At the deposition, the receptionist testified that she was not trained to obtain identification from guests before giving replacement keys. Attorneys for the hotel said they cannot comment on pending litigation.

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