Woman sues Ocean City club after parking lot rape

Lawsuit seeks $1 million in damages

May 31, 2011|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

A Pennsylvania woman who was raped in the parking lot of the popular Ocean City club Seacrets in 2008 has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the club's security staff left her vulnerable to the attack.

The woman, who was 25 at the time, is seeking at least $1 million, according to court records.

The attack occurred in the early hours of May 24, 2008, when the woman went outside the mega club to make a phone call and left her purse inside with her friends. When she tried to get back inside, club staff told her she was being ejected for being too intoxicated and would not let her find her friends to get her purse, which contained her hotel room key, according to the court filings.

She was unable to reach her friends or get into the hotel, and returned to the club parking lot at 2:15 a.m. There, in an area obstructed from security staff because of a large boat and SUV that blocked their view, the woman was attacked by a man who dragged her behind a building on the premises and raped her, records show.

The lawsuit alleges that Seacrets staff were negligent in preventing her from re-entering the club, "failing to exercise reasonable care ... [by not] giving her the opportunity to retrieve her belongings or inform her friends in the club that she was being ejected."

"It was reasonably foreseeable that Plaintiff, an alcohol-impaired 25-year-old woman, early on a Saturday morning on Memorial Day weekend, with no money, hotel room key, identification, or access to her friends, was at greatly increased risk of victimization of crime, including assault and rape," the lawsuit charges.

Reached by phone, the club's president did not immediately have a comment on the lawsuit.

According to media reports and court records, police matched DNA from the crime scene to a man who had been arrested in Florida on unrelated charges. Lorenzo Ivan Garcia-Moreno, 25, is charged in an arrest warrant with first-degree rape, kidnapping and other charges.

He remains in custody in Florida at this time.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com



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