Hotel rape exposes dangers of the job - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Hotel rape exposes dangers of the job

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Police sketch of possible person of interest - not suspect. Police sketch of possible person of interest - not suspect.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Friday's brutal sexual assault on a hotel housekeeper in the Midway district has brought to light the dangers faced daily by hotel cleaning staff.

The attack happened at the Wyndham Garden Hotel on Sports Arena Boulevard during broad daylight on Friday.

Police say the suspect beat and sexually assaulted the victim as she was walking out of a room she had just finished cleaning.

And while the victim in this case stepped forward to report it, some union leaders say that is often not the case.

Brigette Browning is the president of Unite Here Local 30, which represents hotel workers. She says she believes that assaults on hotel housekeepers, often immigrant women desperate to keep their jobs, are underreported.

"I think one, because they're afraid and two, because the mentality in the hotel industry is, the guest is always right," she said.

Andria Babbington, a hotel housekeeper in Toronto for 17 years, applauds the victim in Friday's assault for coming forward but says that too often that is not the case.

Babbington says on several occasions she was the target of unwanted sexual advances, including the time she had to deliver a blanket to a hotel guest.

In Friday afternoon's incident, according to police, a housekeeper at the Wyndham Garden Hotel on Sports Arena Boulevard was cleaning a vacant room when a man entered.

The suspect is described as a black man, 40 to 45 years old, 5'9 to 6'1 with a short afro-style haircut and muscular build. He was wearing blue jeans, a beige polo shirt with blue and yellow stripes and a blue baseball cap with a white logo.

Authorities have released a sketch of a possible person of interest in the case.

The victim was taken to the hospital to be checked out for non-life-threatening injuries.

Police also say that earlier in the week a man with a similar M.O. attempted to assault a hotel worker at a Mission Valley Hotel but ran off. Authorities are looking to whether the two cases are connected.

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