MIAMI, FL— May 25, 2011 - With sexual assault and attempted rape charges pending against IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, countless hotels appear to be assessing their security methods to ensure that guests and employees receive adequate protection from criminal activity. According to information provided by Reuters, Strategic Hotels And Resorts Inc. Chief Executive Laurence Geller told reporters that following the attack of any guest or hotel worker, “You revise your protocols and procedures… Physical abuse has always been a problem in hotels."
After a chambermaid at the Manhattan-based Sofitel hotel accused Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, of forcing her to “perform oral sex and submit to anal sex” when she entered his suite to clean, officers from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) arrested and booked the French politician into Riker's Island jail. Though he posted bail and was eventually released, he remains detained inside a heavily guarded NYC apartment.
“This is still a fairly rare and exceptional event, thankfully, but that doesn't mean we can ignore it,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International Inc.’s chief operating officer. Sorenson noted, “You have to find a way to both make sure our associates are safe and doing the right thing and you have to protect the privacy of our guests…There's a little bit of tension between those two things."
At the hotel where the alleged sexual attack occurred, housekeeping employees are required to leave the door open when performing standard job duties. NYPD investigators contended that data stored on the electronic card reader of Strauss-Khan’s suite door indicated the maid left the door open on the day she was allegedly assaulted.
Geller noted that electronic card readers have had a significant positive impact on hotel security. “The key rack was the villain of all villains, strangely enough,” said Geller, explaining that when room keys were hung on racks behind the receptionist’s desk in the past, attackers could easily find out which suites were vacant and which guests occupied the remainder of a hotel’s rooms.
Furthermore, the Associated Press recently reported that “material” discovered on the uniform the sexual assault victim was wearing on the day of the alleged attack matched Strauss-Khan’s DNA. Investigators also collected other pieces of physical evidence, such as a portion of the rug where the maid reportedly spat after performing involuntary oral sex on Strauss-Khan. The results of DNA tests on those items are still pending.