A woman who regularly received massages at the Ritz-Carlton Spa in Dallas is accusing her massage therapist of sexual assault. Roderic Henderson, 37, was arrested May 2 for an incident alleged to have occurred in March. He is currently out on bond.
Using the pseudonym Jane Doe, the woman is now considering a Dallas County civil suit against the luxury hotel chain.
According to a pre-suit petition filed in September, Doe is asking the court for permission to take a sworn deposition of a Ritz-Carlton employee to determine what the company knew about Henderson's alleged crime.
"The spa manager was very concerned whether a police report would be filed, thereby making the matter public record," the filing reads.
"Based on the high prices charged, the reputation and marketing of the Ritz-Carlton, Jane Doe expected that the Ritz-Carlton Spa would be a safe, secure and well-managed facility," the filing reads. "In a Ritz-Carlton massage room and while in a vulnerable and compromised position, Jane Doe was sexually assaulted by Roderic Henderson."
The filing goes on to say that Henderson showed "no hesitation or concern for getting caught, as if such behavior was acceptable at the Ritz-Carlton Spa." Doe reportedly told hotel employees about the incident in writing, but did not get a sympathetic response.
"The spa manager expressed no concern over what occurred to Jane Doe but rather was very concerned whether a police report would be filed, thereby making the matter public record," the filing reads.
Doe has already tried to obtain Henderson's personnel file from the hotel, but her request was denied. "The Ritz-Carlton refused to provide the file and was otherwise unwilling to share information," the filing reads.
In a October 13 response to the petition, the Ritz-Carlton issued a general denial to all claims. The hotel also said corporate policy prevented it from releasing an employee's file and that an additional request to produce all sexual assault complaints would be too taxing to fulfill.
"The Ritz-Carlton has been open for over seven years, contains 218 guestrooms, has 12,000 square feet of salon and spa space, 19,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and encompasses 95 luxury high rise private residences," the filing reads. "A request to produce all complaints or claims of assault for over seven years, involving 218 guestrooms, 19,000 square feet of event and meeting space, private residences, and areas 'at or near' the Ritz-Carlton is over broad and amounts to an impermissible fishing expedition."
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for December 1.