A popular luxury resort in the Dominican Republic claims that a U.S. tourist who recently alleged that she was assaulted there in January went public after they refused her demand for $2.2 million.
The hotel has raised doubts about the account by Delaware resident Tammy Lawrence-Daley, who posted her allegation on Facebook, along with photos of her face, swollen and bruised.
Lawrence-Daley said she was vacationing at the five-star all-inclusive resort with her husband and some friends when she left her room one evening to buy a snack and was attacked from behind and subjected to hours of beatings. She alleged that the attacker was wearing a resort uniform.
In a statement to Fox News, Majestic Elegance Punta Cana Hotel claimed: “Mrs. Lawrence formally demanded a $2.2 million compensation agreement. After receiving no positive response, she disclosed her version of the case, 4 months after it happened.”
Efforts to reach Lawrence-Daley for a response were unsuccessful on Wednesday.
Lawrence-Daley has said, however, that frustration over how the hotel and the police handled her allegations prompted her to go public to warn other tourists.
Lawrence-Daley has said in interviews with various news outlets that an effort to reach an out-of-court settlement had failed, and the resort’s insurance company eventually sent a letter saying Majestic Elegance bore no responsibility since she couldn’t identify her assailant as an employee. She now has until late July to find a Dominican lawyer to take up her case.
The hotel statement sought to address criticism by Lawrence-Daley and her husband, Christopher, that they had to make several appeals to the staff to help them find her when she didn’t return to the room.
The hotel staff, the statement said, “took on the responsibility of providing all necessary attentions and that all actions in the case are well documented” and “a member of the hotel staff stayed most of the time in the hospital to provide assistance and ensure that her needs were met.”
Hotel and law enforcement authorities have responded publicly to Lawrence-Daley’s allegations with a mix of concern and defensiveness, saying that they are investigating and adding that there are inconsistencies in her account.
“After their investigation, authorities understand that the scenario is still unclear, and that there are weak points and unanswered questions to answer in this strange and unusual case,” the statement said.
“Some news media sources in the United States have reported on the story considering her accounts are true and definitive, instead of waiting for a final resolution of the case, that not only affects Majestic Resorts, but also tourism for the entire Dominican Republic.”
The statement about Lawrence-Daley comes amid the news that three U.S. tourists died last week in their rooms at two separate buildings in the Dominican Republic, both owned by the Spanish-based Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.
On Tuesday, Fox News reported that a Pennsylvania psychotherapist, Miranda Schaup-Werner, died in her room on May 25, five days before a couple from Maryland, Edward Holmes and Cynthia Day, were found dead in their room.
Initial autopsies indicated they died of respiratory failure, Dominican authorities have said. Police said they were investigating the deaths, which relatives of all the three tourists have called suspicious. On Wednesday afternoon, the Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts released a statement saying authorities have concluded that Schaup-Werner died of a heart attack.
The conclusion, the resort group said, aligned "with official statements provided by Mr. Werner [Schaup's husband], who confirmed she had a history of heart conditions. During the event and in the days that followed we provided our complete support to Mr. Werner in collaboration with local authorities and the U.S. Embassy. We once again express our condolences to Mr. Werner and his family and friends on the passing of Mrs. Schaup-Werner."
A family spokesman, Jay McDonald, told Fox News that while Schaup-Werner had a heart condition 15 years ago, she had been medically cleared and had not exhibited cardiac problems since then or in the days leading up to the vacation. The resort group statement said that the deaths of Holmes and Day remain under investigation pending the results of toxicology and histopathological tests.
The resort group also clarified initial reports by the family, and Dominican authorities to the media that the three deaths occurred in the same building. The new statement said the three deaths occurred in different buildings, which are located nearly side-by-side in La Romana, owned by the Bahia Principe resort group.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.