A Pennsylvania businessman acquitted in a 2011 criminal case that involved a late-night drunken episode inside a hotel room is now suing the Ritz-Carlton near St. Louis where the bizarre incident took place.
Daniel T. Hughes, 47, was on a business trip from Conshohocken to Clayton, Mo., when after a long night of drinking he got a key to the wrong room and climbed into bed with a 9-year-old girl. He was charged with child molestation and, three years later, acquitted.
Now Hughes is suing the hotel and the company that runs it, Maritz, Wolff & Co., for negligence. He alleges they failed in their responsibility to check his identification before giving him the room key, according to court records and news reports.
The life-changing confusion apparently began when Hughes, after drinking until 3 a.m., forgot his room number.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Hughes was staying in room 811. But in his drunken haze, he believed his room number was 1611, and asked the clerk for a key to that room. The newspaper reported that he had stayed in room 1619 of a different hotel on the same business trip, which he had argued contributed to the confusion.
During his criminal trial, Hughes said he wasn't surprised that a female was in his bed because he believed his drinking buddies had brought a woman he had met earlier in the evening to his room as a surprise, according to the newspaper reports.
A jury acquitted him in 2014 of three charges of child molestation, citing in part questionable detective work.
He paid the girl's family $50,000 in a civil settlement following the criminal trial. The hotel also reached a settlement with the family.
In his lawsuit filed against the hotel Feb. 19, Hughes claims the hotel's negligence led to him losing his lucrative job with Enterprise Leasing Co., according to the Post-Dispatch.
A message left for Hughes's attorney, Scott Rosenblum, was not returned Thursday. According to the suit, Hughes now lives in Wayne County, Pa.
Hughes' criminal case apparently was quite taxing on his attorney. Hours after winning Hughes's acquittal, Rosenblum was arrested for an alleged DUI.
Rosenblum argued that he wasn't drunk, but exhausted from the trial. He later agreed to a plea deal for careless and imprudent driving.