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JAMAICA | Sandals rocked by more sexual assault allegations

Featured JAMAICA | Sandals rocked by more sexual assault allegations
KINGSTON,  December 18, 2018 - Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart has defended the hotel's handling of sexual assault charges against the international hotel chain that have again surfaced in the international media.
Stewart told ABC news in an interview,  that his company has strict safety and security protocols and the police are always called in relation to criminal matters.
He defended the hotel's handling of the issue when asked whether he thought offering someone who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by one of his employees a refund and a non-disclosure agreement was the proper way of handling such as situation.  
"Our security protocols are crystal clear. They're in place, they have served the company very well over the years. We follow them to the book to ensure that we take care of our clients and their safety," he declared.
The Sandals Deputy Chairman told ABC News that he was aware of "around 10" incidents of sexual assaults at their resorts.
Several women have reported that they were sexually assaulted at Jamaican properties owned by Sandals Resorts. However, the women say they were asked not to report the incidents to police and given free stays and other compensation in exchange for signing nondisclosure agreements.

In one incident,  45 year-old professional makeup artist, Melissa Blayton told ABC News that she was sexually assaulted by an employee at a Sandals resort in Jamaica last year.

Ms Blayton said the incident occurred in spring 2017 when one of the hotel's employees offered her a solo sailing lesson. She said she knew something was wrong when she realised they were sailing much farther out than other sailboats from the resort that had gone out at the same time.
Ms Blayton said the man later got on top of her and began kissing her. She said he tried pinning her down, but she was able to get enough leverage to push him off of her. She then demanded that the man take her back to shore.
Blayton said a butler saw her crying and told her to tell the manager what happened. The manager reportedly went to her room and Blayton said she told him what happened to her. He left and returned 30 minutes later.
When questioned whether the police would be called in in relation to the assault.  Blayton said the manager reportedly told her they would take care of it and quickly offered her a voucher for $4,500 for a future trip, as well as a nondisclosure agreement.
Ms Blayton said the manager told her that the employee had been fired that day.

In another case, reported in the Detroit Free Press, an 18-year-old au pair visiting Jamaica in July claimed she was drugged and raped and that Sandals did nothing to help.

She said Sandals paid her American host family $25,000 to refund their trip in exchange for the parents signing a nondisclosure agreement.

The 18-year-old did not sign an NDA, and told the Free Press that Sandals officials "know what happened."

"They know exactly who it was," the woman said. "My silence will not be bought. They let someone get away with it."

According to the Free Press, their investigation comes just months after the paper revealed sexual assaults on tourists in Jamaica is a longstanding problem, with one American being raped every month. Sandals operates nine resorts on the island of Jamaica, and 16 throughout the Caribbean.



Last modified onTuesday, 18 December 2018 07:10
  • Countries: Jamaica

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