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Second Canadian woman alleges sexual assault at Dominican resort

Last Updated Jun 7, 2017 at 6:25 pm EST

A second Canadian woman has come forward, saying she was sexually assaulted while at a resort in the Dominican Republic.

The 25-year-old woman, who CityNews has chosen not to identify, says she was on a Sunwing vacation at the RIU Republica in Punta Cana last month when she was raped by a staff member.

She claims it happened during a party on the resort, when a bartender asked to speak with her. The 25-year-old believed she and her friends were in trouble since they were getting loud, but instead, she claims she was pulled into a maintenance room where the man attempted to take her clothes off before forcing her to perform a sexual act on him.

Accompanied by her friends, she says she was traumatized and reported the incident to hotel management. She was told they would investigate.

“They said they would do what they had to, contact authorities and everything,” she said. “Once they identified the employee, they would get back to me and nothing has come so far.”

The woman says she spent the next two days locked up in her room, afraid to leave.

This is the second time CityNews has reported on allegations of sexual assault at RIU Republica. In an exclusive story Friday, another Canadian woman said she was forced into a bathroom stall and raped by a hotel staff member, also in May.

The woman reported the incident to police with the help of Sunwing, which operates tours to RIU Resorts exclusively for Canadian customers. It was reported that the employee was terminated from his position and arrested.

The second woman did not personally report the incident to Sunwing, but the tour company said it’s concerning to hear and they will be conducting their own investigation.

Global Affairs told CityNews on Friday that it was aware and “deeply concerned with a report of sexual assault on a Canadian citizen in the Dominican Republic.” They had yet to respond to our questions regarding this second incident.

CityNews still hasn’t been able to successfully get in touch with police in Punta Cana.

A man who identified himself as a manager with RIU Republica says a response from the head office in Spain will be provided on Monday.

Update: A spokesperson for RIU responded on Wednesday, saying there was no record of criminal claims related to sexual harassment. Read the full statement below:

Please apologize for our late response and thank you for contacting RIU Hotels in order to know our version regarding this matter. The facts that you are describing are extremely serious. Out of respect for our customers, we never diffuse information about possible claims. What we can tell you for sure, is that RIU takes the safety of its guests very seriously and that sexual harassment and any behavior that could annoy them is not tolerated under any circumstance.

There is no record of other criminal claims related to cases of sexual harassment as you mention. For your information, any claim of harassment or incident in our hotels are investigated with the same diligence and all necessary legal measures are taken in collaboration with the pertinent authorities.

Thanks and best regards,

Yvonne Swiezawski
Press Manager Europe