N.J. couple sue Florida hotel after being attacked by prostitutes

June 3, 2013 at 3:35 PM
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MIAMI BEACH, Fla., June 3 (UPI) -- A married couple from New Jersey are suing a Florida hotel where they were allegedly attacked by prostitutes as they walked to their room.

Anna and Joseph Burgese of Medford filed the lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court in Camden, N.J., against Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Monday.

The lawsuit alleges that while the couple were making their way to their room at the W hotel in Miami Beach on Jan. 19, Anna Burgese was attacked by several women in a hallway. Several other women watched the attack, the lawsuit alleges.

Joseph Burgese, who was on crutches at the time, asked hotel employees he had asked to detain the attacker until police arrived.

However, "The attackers ended up jumping into a taxicab with the assistance of hotel staff," the Burgeses' lawyer, Lance Rogers said. "The attackers left before police could realize what was happening."

Anna Burgese was hospitalized with injuries to her face and knee, among other injuries, Rogers said. The couple then returned home, cutting their vacation several days short.

The Burgeses were later told by police that their attackers were likely prostitutes. Police have kept the case open, but have not made any arrests.

In the lawsuit, Rogers alleges the hotel "fosters a prostitute-friendly environment where prostitutes are permitted to market themselves on premises."

The hotel has also been unwilling to help in the investigation, Rogers said.

"From the minute this happened, the hotel management and staff became very elusive and not willing to participate with the Burgeses about what happened," he said.

The hotel has not commented on the lawsuit.

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