Woman says she was assaulted at local Holiday Inn because employee gave her room key to a stranger

Woman sues local Holiday Inn after she was sexually assaulted in hotel

By: Olivia LaVoice

LEBEC, CALIF – A woman claims she was sexually assaulted in her hotel room because a hotel employee gave her room key to a stranger. Now she’s suing the Holiday Inn Express in Lebec, where the assault took place.

It was April 2014 when a woman came to spend the weekend at the Holiday Inn to visit her boyfriend, who was staying there along with several coworkers. That’s where the victim briefly met Jonathan Padilla, one of her boyfriend’s coworkers.

On the night of the attack, surveillance video shows Jonathan Padilla talking to the hotel receptionist. The victim’s attorney, Brian McCormack, says Padilla was acting erratic and drunk and asked the receptionist for sex in exchange for $100. The receptionist refused and told Padilla if he didn’t return to his room she’d call the Sheriff’s Department.

Padilla left, but then came back and told the receptionist he needed a key to his room. But he didn’t give his real name, instead he gave the victim’s boyfriends name in order to gain access to her room. McCormack says the receptionist didn’t ask Padilla for his ID, she just confirmed the name he gave was a name of a registered guest at the hotel before giving him the key.

With the key in his hand, Padilla went to the victim’s room, where McCormack says you can see him remove the peephole from the door before he entered and sexually assaulted the victim. Padilla is seen on surveillance video walking out of the room with his pants around his ankles.

Padilla was convicted of sexual assault in 2014 and sentenced to serve three years in prison, and was paroled in 2015.

McCormack says the hotel employee who gave Padilla the room key said during a deposition that she wasn’t trained to ask people for their ID when giving them a replacement key.

We reached out the attorney representing the Holiday Inn, their employee, and the two other companies named in the law suit. She said she and her clients are unable to comment on pending litigation.

Jonathan Padilla is also named in the law suit but doesn’t have an attorney. We tried to reach out to Padilla, but couldn’t immediately find him.

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