A downtown Minneapolis hotel employee sneaked into a guest’s room, pulled down the woman’s clothes as she slept and sexually assaulted her, according to a criminal complaint that characterized the victim as vulnerable.
Pedro Ortiz Morales, 39, of Minneapolis, was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court with third-degree criminal sexual conduct of a victim who was “mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless” at the time of the alleged attack. The incident occurred Sunday at the Marriott Residence Inn on S. 8th Street between Nicollet Mall and LaSalle Avenue in Minneapolis.
Morales was arrested at his home on the day of the attack, charged and released. Court records do not list an attorney for him, and he could not be reached for his response to the allegation.
Jeff Flaherty, a Marriott spokesman at the company’s headquarters in Bethesda, Md., said that “as soon as hotel management was made aware of the situation, they immediately contacted the Minneapolis Police Department. The police are conducting an investigation, and we are cooperating fully with them as they look into the matter.”
Flaherty declined say whether the employee was still reporting for work or what his duties are at the hotel.
According to the criminal complaint:
The 23-year-old woman, “crying and struggling to talk,” met with police at 6:50 a.m. and told police that she awoke to Morales straddling her. She said that her pants and underwear were pulled down and that Morales was sexually assaulting her with his hand. He also was trying to have intercourse with her, she continued.
She said she tried to push him away, and he told her “no, no, shhhh, stop,” the complaint read. Once she succeeded in pushing him off of her, Morales pulled up his pants and ran from the room.
“The victim was crying throughout her initial statement and had a very difficult time talking to officers because she was so upset,” the complaint continued.
The court document did not elaborate on the specifics of the woman’s ongoing vulnerability.