A Brighton father has told how a dream family holiday turned into a nightmare after his 15-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted at a luxury resort.
The father, who The Argus cannot name for legal reasons, told The Argus his £8,000, once-in-a-lifetime family holiday turned into the “worst experience of his life” following the traumatic experience.
And he claims the lack of assistance he received from the Thomas Cook rep at a Mexican resort allowed his daughter’s attacker enough time to escape the country and flee justice.
The father took his partner and three children to Catalonia Yucatan Beach Resort and Spa in Mexico at the turn of the year.
With just four days of the holiday to go, the family’s 19-year-old son went out to the resort’s nightclub while his 15-year-old sister stayed in the room they shared.
The father claims that a man headed to her room when she was alone and assaulted her.
When the brother came back from the club with a friend he went to put his key card in the door but couldn’t open it past the latch.
His arrival caused the man – a Canadian – to flee the scene via the balcony with the brother and friend in pursuit.
A fight broke out between them, waking up the parents and alerting resort security, who, he said, failed to contact police.
The father said it was two days after the incident that police were informed after the family went to the British Consulate.
A day earlier, the travel rep gave the family an address for a police station but when they got there they discovered it had been closed six weeks earlier, he said.
The father added: “We weren’t able to phone police themselves because the hotel phones weren’t registered.
“The rep said the hotel was dealing with it but the hotel staff were just shrugging their shoulders.
“It was the worst experience of my life. I am convinced that there could have been some sort of justice but they left a 15-year-old thinking its normal for a man to act like that.”
A Thomas Cook spokeswoman said that as soon as the resort team were aware of the alleged incident, they worked closely with the hotel management to offer every support including counselling for the victim and a transfer to a different hotel.
She added: “The welfare of our customers is always our priority, and we were naturally concerned to hear of the alleged incident that occurred during the family’s holiday.”