Woman Sues Airbnb for 2016 Sexual Assault
Posted on: September 30, 2021 Airbnb Sexual Assaults
In 2017, Leslie Lapayowker filed a lawsuit against Airbnb seeking to hold the company accountable for her sexual assault. The claim contends that the company was negligent in allowing her to rent a room from Carlos Del Olmo, a man who was previously accused of domestic violence.
Lapayowker rented a studio attached to Del Olmo’s home and had planned to be there for a month while she looked for a permanent residence. According to Airbnb’s site, Del Olmo was a “verified user” and because he hosted frequent guests and had positive reviews, he was labeled as a “superhost.” However, Del Olmo’s demeanor frightened Lapayowker almost immediately and she decided to cut her stay short. When she notified him of her decision, he managed to lure her into the studio and allegedly sexually assaulted her.
The incident was reported to local authorities, but prosecutors declined to file charges due to a lack of evidence.
It wasn’t until her attorney began an investigation into the incident that Lapayowker learned Del Olmo had been arrested in Florida for a battery charge and domestic violence case. The fact that someone with charges like Del Olmo had against him would be allowed to be a host on Airbnb was shocking to Lapayowker. For its part, an Airbnb spokesman said the company runs background checks on all US hosts and guests, looking for any felony convictions, sex offender registries, or significant misdemeanors. Airbnb has since kicked Del Olmo off its platform.
Lapayowker’s experience is unfortunately not an isolated event. In 2015, an Australian woman was attacked inside her New York city Airbnb rental. Later, Airbnb paid that rape victim $7 million in compensation.
Lapayowker’s concern about what happened runs deeper than just hoping to be awarded compensation for what she has been through. “I don’t want this to happen to other women,” Lapayowker said. “It was horrible, and I think that everybody should be warned that this could potentially happen to them or their daughter or their wife or their sister.”
The entire article can be viewed here.
Airbnb Sexual Abuse and Assault Lawsuits
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