Woman Attacked in Dominican Republic Says All-Inclusive Resort Is Trying to ‘Blame the Victim’
Tammy Lawrence-Daley was attacked in the Dominican Republic in January
The woman who says she was brutally attacked in January at a resort in the Dominican Republic has accused the all-inclusive of attempting to “blame the victim” after the hotel addressed the incident Wednesday in a statement.
Tammy Lawrence-Daley, 51, wrote in a May Facebook post that she was attacked and left for dead in an underground area at the Majestic Elegance Punta Cana Resort by a man wearing a hotel uniform. She and her husband have accused authorities and hotel staff of mishandling the case.
On Wednesday, nearly a week after the woman’s Facebook post, which received extensive media coverage, the resort issued a statement denying Lawrence-Daley’s allegations. The hotel’s statement also accused her of requesting $2.2 million in compensation, saying that when she did not receive a “positive response, she disclosed her version of the case, four months after it happened.”
A statement issued Friday on behalf of Lawrence-Daley asserts that she and her attorneys “feel confident that viewers and the public can see that the hotel’s attempt to blame the victim in this case is their last plea to avoid taking responsibility for their failures.”
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Lawrence-Daley’s statement says that at the time of the assault, hotel cameras were not operable. The statement also accuses the hotel of delaying a search for the woman while she lay in an underground piped area filled with inches of wastewater for the next eight hours.
Lawrence-Daley previously alleged to PEOPLE that while she was missing, a hotel staff member told her husband she was possibly drunk and sleeping it off. She also said her husband had to go to the front desk at least three times before security began searching for his wife.
She also told PEOPLE that the evidence she provided, including the dress she wore the evening of her attack, was “lost” by authorities and the crime scene was not properly roped off, which she believes interfered with the investigation.
A spokesperson with the Dominican Republic Attorney General’s Office told NBC10 her rape kit came up negative, but Lawrence Daley previously told PEOPLE her kit wasn’t administered for 48 hours, which she believes might have compromised the result.
WARNING: Photo below may be distressing to some readers.
Spokespersons from both national and local police have disputed the couple’s claims that they mishandled the case, saying that as soon as they heard of Lawrence-Daley’s attack, investigators followed protocol collecting evidence, conducting interviews and taking her testimony.
“There is a lot of conjecture about the case, a lot of information that doesn’t match some of the statements,” National police spokesman Col. Frank Felix Duran told the Associated Press. “We have to wait for the investigation to end.”
Speaking to NBC10, Punta Cana Tourism Police spokesman Ramón Brito said investigators found “incongruencies” and “discrepancies” in Daley’s interview with police.
The hotel, in its statement, said it “rigorously implemented the security protocol provided for the cases when information is received of a guest in trouble.”
The hotel’s statement added, “The authorities were immediately notified and the hotel took on the responsibility of providing all necessary attentions, as may be confirmed by the available document given to the authorities.”
Addressing the police claims of discrepancies in the couple’s account, the hotel statement said that “the scenario is still unclear, and that there are weak points, contradictions on the information offered, and that there are still unanswered questions in this strange and unusual case.”
The AP reported that after a three-month investigation, Majestic Elegance’s insurance company informed Lawrence-Daley in a letter that the hotel bore no responsibility due to the fact she was unable to identify her attacker. Lawrence-Daley told PEOPLE she was unable to see her attacker because her eyes were swollen shut from her injuries and she lost consciousness.
Lawrence-Dallye’s statement asserts, “The resort and its parent company are well off and protected by insurance, but still, refuse to assist Mrs. Lawrence Daley after the tragedy that fell upon her at their resort. At only first glance, based on the [resort’s] unwillingness to protect their customer, Mrs. Lawrence Daley and her attorney would urge travelers to hestigate or refrain from staying at the Majestic Elegance or its sister resorts until the resort takes such action to protect and respect its customer.”
The resort did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
The investigation remains ongoing and Majestic Elegance has said it is cooperating with local authorities.