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Old 07-10-2019, 12:39 PM
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Default Tourist claims she was raped, thrown from balcony at Dominican Republic resort

https://nypost.com/2019/07/10/touris...public-resort/

Tourist claims she was raped, thrown from balcony at Dominican Republic resort
By Amanda Woods
July 10, 2019 | 9:05am | Updated

A Staten Island woman is claiming that she was raped and thrown from a second-story balcony during a nightmare stay at a Dominican Republic resort last month, according to a new report.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, told ABC 7 that she was staying at the Ocean Blue & Sand in June when the incident unfolded one afternoon, partway through her trip.

She claimed she checked out a poolside bar, where she met a couple also staying there who chatted her up and suggested sharing a few drinks, according to the report.

Soon, she told the station, she began feeling disoriented and believed she had been drugged.

“Things were starting to get blurry,” she said. “I kind of heard buzzing in my ears, like ringing, and that’s when everything started to fade.”

She headed to her lounge chair — but it wasn’t long before the 28-year-old man she’d been drinking with followed and grabbed her, she told the station.

“I remember being taken against my will to the room,” she said. “I remember my pants being forced off.”

By then, her strength was nearly depleted and she could barely speak, she told the outlet.

“I remember fear,” she recounted. “I was crying during it.”

Police reports obtained by the station indicate that someone called 911 after spotting the woman fall from a second-story balcony with no bottoms on.

She suffered a damaged spine, a gash in her hand that needed stitches, severe bruising and internal trauma that she described as her injuries from being raped, according to the report.

During the alleged victim’s medical treatment, doctors never suggested a rape kit — despite the trauma she’d suffered, she told ABC. But once she got the police involved, they determined her injuries were consistent with rape and arrested the couple, according to the report.
Enlarge ImageOcean Blue & Sand in Punta Cana
Ocean Blue & Sand in Punta CanaOcean Blue & Sand

The female suspect allegedly confessed to shoving the woman off the balcony during a fight that she claimed to have initiated upon discovering the tourist in the hotel room with her boyfriend.

Both the woman and her boyfriend have been charged with sexual assault, attempted murder, violence against women and robbery, but they’ve since been released on the equivalent to $1,000 bail each, according to the report.

The alleged victim told the station that’s the same amount she’s spent on an attorney to ensure that her case gets prosecuted — which, so far, has been a challenge.

“It’s a whole different country, different rules,” she told the network. “They don’t care. They could have cared less if I died over there.”

“They caught the people, and they let them out. How do you do that?” the woman added. “That’s what pisses me off the most, is that I know who did it and they might walk free.”

The prosecutor’s office, the local police department in Punta Cana and the Ocean Blue & Sand all declined comment to ABC.

Now, the woman told the station, she’s speaking out about her story in hopes of protecting other female travelers.

“People go on vacation,” the alleged victim said. “They put their guard down half of the time. They are trying to relax, but I want people to know, you can’t have your guard down. You always have to be careful. It could happen at any time. This didn’t happen at nighttime. This happened in broad day.”

The US State Department could not tell ABC exactly how many reports of sexual assault it has received from Americans overseas.

A US Justice Department spokesperson acknowledged to the station that it can be a challenge for victims abroad to get the justice they seek.
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