Home Assault and Battery Woman, 67, who was raped by Travon Smith in Florida inn settles $16M lawsuit against hotel

Woman, 67, who was raped by Travon Smith in Florida inn settles $16M lawsuit against hotel

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Trigger Warning: This article contains references to rape and sexual assault and can be traumatic for survivors

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: A woman who was brutally raped at a Florida hotel in 2021, that was partially caught on camera, has reportedly settled a lawsuit against the business for $16 million. The unidentified woman, 67, and her husband were staying at a Miami Rodeway Inn last year, vacationing and house-hunting in the area, when the incident took place.

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The suspect, 22-year-old Travon Smith, managed to open their hotel room and enter. He tussled with the victim’s husband, even biting him at one point. “The face is in front of me every night, every morning, during the day,” the woman reportedly said, according to New York Post. “This bastard — what he’s done to me.” 

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Smith then began beating and strangling the woman, dragging her into an elevator at one point and forcing her to perform oral sex on him. The husband had said at the time that his wife suffered broken ribs and brain bleeding. Surveillance footage showed the woman being dragged across the corridor. The woman said that the suspect choked her so hard that she lost her sight. She accused staffers of not doing anything to stop the assault although it took place in an open hallway. “He grabbed me to the elevator,” the victim told Local 10. “He forced me to do so many things. I was screaming and I was screaming so many times.”

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The victim reached a $16 million settlement in early July after suing the owners of the Rodeway Inn and its security company. Attorney Justin Shapiro said the law firm’s investigation was “damning”. “Nothing was done to intervene as this woman was beaten and sexually assaulted for ten straight minutes in the middle of an open hallway at the hotel,” Shapiro said. “With the settlement they’ll have the closure they deserve and the financial security that they’ll need for the rest of their lives.”

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About $11 million of the settlement came from the hotel’s owners, while $5 million came from the security company. The hotel owners, however, did not admit guilt. They continue to deny any wrongdoing in the case. Shapiro said that Rodeway Inn has now updated security improvements and that he and the victim are satisfied with it. 

What happened to Travon Smith?

Smith faces four charges of burglary with assault or battery, kidnapping, sexual battery, and felony battery. Smith is scheduled to appear for his trial in Miami-Dade County court in August. Not much information is available about the vile attacker as of now. 

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The 67-year-old, who was on holiday with her husband at the time of the vicious attack, suffered a brain bleed, broken ribs, collapsed lungs and severe brain injury. She had to undergo an eight-hour surgery to “save her life”.

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