A Myrtle Beach hotel company facing federal visa fraud charges is now charged with an alleged rape by one of its foreign workers who was illegally in the United States.
A Horry County woman filed a lawsuit Monday against Grandeur Management and a local Marriott hotel, where she says she was raped by a co-worker while working as a laundry attendant.
The woman, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, alleged that the man who raped her, Carlton Sanderson, had a “history of sexual assault” in his native Jamaica.
Sanderson was employed by Grandeur Management, which has a history of involvement in illegal practices including human trafficking, visa fraud and money laundering, the lawsuit says.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina named Grandeur and its chairman, Raja Imran Younas, last year in an ongoing federal visa fraud prosecution, alleging the company defrauded, underpaid and lied to foreign workers who were in Myrtle Beach on work visas. .
The Residence Inn by Marriott Myrtle Beach Oceanfront, where Sanderson and Doe worked, “knew or should have known the danger of hiring illegal workers, including Sanderson in particular, with a history of sexual assault.”
The woman also alleged that Marriott knew or should have known about Grandeur Management’s illegal business practices and chose to contract with them anyway in an attempt to staff the hotel with foreign labor. At a reduced price.
The lawsuit lists Residence Inn by Marriott Myrtle Beach Oceanfront, SREE MB Hotel Partners, LLC, Marriott International, Inc. and Grandeur Management as defendants.
Grandeur management could not be reached for comment.
A Residence Inn by Marriott manager asked a Sun News reporter to speak to Marriott headquarters. A call to SREE Hotels went to voicemail.
Doe, who was 19 at the time of the alleged rape, is a “special needs person with multiple mental health diagnoses,” the lawsuit says.
Doe said she was raped by Sanderson around 10 p.m. on April 28, 2019, in a hotel laundry room, according to the lawsuit.
After the rape, Sanderson “immediately ran away” from the hotel, and Doe reported the rape to her co-workers and law enforcement, the suit says.
Doe was taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center for a physical examination.
“The forced nature of the sexual encounter was confirmed during a medical examination” at the hospital, the lawsuit states.
During the police investigation, Sanderson “admitted to having forced and/or coerced other women” into having sex in Jamaica.
Marriott contracted with Grandeur Management to supply foreign workers to its 2605 S. Ocean Boulevard hotel “at wages below those prevailing in Myrtle Beach,” according to the lawsuit.
Sanderson was arrested and charged with sexual assault, and it was determined during the charging process that Sanderson was illegally brought into the United States and illegally employed, the lawsuit says.
He was deported to Jamaica to face criminal charges overseas. No contact information for Sanderson could be located.
Younas was among three people arrested last summer after authorities said foreign workers in Myrtle Beach on work visas had been ripped off, underpaid and lied about their working and living conditions.
Two separate complaints alleging violations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act have also been filed against Grandeur and Younas in recent years.
Some of the charges against Younas were made in connection with services provided to businesses, including the Residence Inn, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit alleges “gross negligent acts” on the part of Marriott, and that the contracting through Grandeur Management was a “direct and immediate cause” of Doe’s assault and injuries.
She sought an undisclosed sum of money in punitive damages.
This story was originally published February 7, 2022 2:46 p.m.