A Stamford hotel where a woman was raped at gunpoint in front of her children is blaming the victim for being careless and negligent, according to court documents.
Gary Fricker assaulted the woman in her minivan in the hotel's parking garage in front of her two children, then 3 and 5, in 2006, prosecutors say. He also threatened to sexually assault one of her children, the Stamford Advocate reports, citing court documents.
Police arrested Fricker, a transient carpenter, three days later. He had been arrested 20 times before and was wanted in a Florida arson case, the Advocate reports.
Fricker is serving 20 years in prison for the 2006 attack.
The victim filed a lawsuit in May 2008, six months after Fricker was sentenced, claiming the hotel failed to prevent the attack, the Advocate reports.
Last month, Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa filed its own papers, responding to the victim’s suit.
The hotel's court filing says the woman "failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities."
Her lawyers, in court filings, have denied those allegations.
“We wish to convey our respect and sympathy for Ms. Doe and her family, who were the victims of a horrendous crime in 2006,” the Stamford Marriott said in a statement. “Marriott is profoundly sorry that such a terrible thing happened to the victim of this violent crime. And unfortunately this situation has created a mistaken impression that Marriott lacks respect and concern for Ms. Doe or other victims of violent crime.”
The hotel spokesperson said they could not otherwise comment on the story out of respect for the privacy of the victim and pending litigation.