June 05, 2019
The Dominican Republic resort where a Wilmington woman claims she suffered a brutal beating at the hands of an unidentified employee has issued its first public response to the shocking allegations.
In a report from the Dominican news outlet Listin Diario, the all-inclusive Punta Cana resort said Tammy Lawrence-Daley had requested a $2.2 million settlement from Majestic Elegance, where she stayed with her husband and another couple in late January.
The hotel said Lawrence-Daley only took her story to Facebook last week after the settlement was denied.
The 52-year-old mother of two says the attack happened after she left her room and went to the resort lobby alone to get a snack around 11 p.m. on her first night there. In her account of the incident on Facebook, Lawrence-Daley says she was attacked from behind by a man wearing a resort staff shirt.
The attacker allegedly dragged Lawrence-Daley into a maintenance room, where she was strangled and beaten repeatedly. She claims she lost consciousness for intervals throughout the attack. She was not discovered until after 6 a.m. the following morning.
Authorities in the Dominican Republic said there have been inconsistencies in the statements they have received from Lawrence-Daley and her husband, Christopher, about the incident. The couple has accused police of mishandling the investigation from the start and failing to administer a rape kit until 48 hours after the attack.
Wednesday's full statement from Majestic Elegance, later provided to PhillyVoice, further questioned the timeline of events described by Lawrence-Daley and her husband.
"As stated by the woman, she was intercepted by a stranger shortly after 11 p.m., but Mr. Christopher Daley reported her disappearance at 2.30 a.m. and in a few minutes a search operation was initiated through the entire property, and she was found at 6.40 a.m.," the hotel claimed.
The hotel's statement flatly contradicts what Lawrence-Daley and her husband said about when the attack was reported and how staff responded. They claim Christopher and the other couple made multiple early reports to the hotel that Tammy was missing, but the hotel allegedly brushed them aside, suggesting she was passed out somewhere after a night of drinking.
"My husband and friends went to the front desk at least three times throughout the night before security even agreed to look for me," Lawrence-Daley wrote on Facebook. "This consisted of them taking a quad to the beach and looking on the beach. The security at Majestic Elegance thought I was drunk somewhere."
Majestic Elegance also notes Lawrence-Daley was found with her wallet and cell phone in her possession, though it's unclear whether she would have had the ability to place calls or text messages while traveling or in the condition she was in after suffering injuries.
"She had bruises on her face and had broken the nail on her little finger," the hotel claimed. "She had no scratches or other signs of violence on her body."
The resort further claims it paid for Lawrence-Daley's hospital expenses, had a staff member present at the hospital for most of her stay, and offered her a complimentary extension to remain at the hotel while she recovered.
Lawrence-Daley and her husband have insisted they provided testimony and a complaint to police in the Dominican Republic. The resort says that did not happen.
"A delegate from the United States embassy visited Mrs. Lawrence-Daley during her stay in the hospital, but she refused to present a legal accusation despite the recommendations of the local authorities," the resort said.
The U.S. State Department said last week that it is investigating the case and working closely with Dominican authorities, who have described what happened as an "isolated incident."
Three other U.S. citizens, including an Allentown woman, died in the Dominican Republic during the last two weeks. Those incidents occurred elsewhere on the island, at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville in the city of La Romana.
The investigation into Lawrence-Daley's allegations remains ongoing.