Airbnb sued by woman who says she was sexually assaulted by ‘superhost’

Lawsuit submitted by Leslie Lapayowker implicates Airbnb of carelessness after she stated she was assaulted by a host who was not appropriately evaluated

An Airbnb visitor is looking for to hold the business liable for a supposed sexual attack, declaring in a first-of-its-kind suit that she was assaulted by a host who was not correctly evaluated.

The match, submitted Thursday by Leslie Lapayowker, raises fresh concerns about the tech companies legal obligations when hosts break laws or take part in criminal conduct.

Lapayowker is implicating Airbnb of neglect when it permitted her to lease a space from Carlos Del Olmo, who was formerly implicated of domestic violence.

I do not desire this to occur to other ladies, Lapayowker, a 51-year-old New Mexico female, informed the Guardian. It was terrible, and I believe that everyone needs to be cautioned that this might possibly take place to them or their child or their other half or their sibling.

Reached by phone, Del Olmo stated he was not familiar with the problem and emphatically rejected the sexual attack accusation, keeping in mind that criminal charges were never ever submitted. An Airbnb representative stated that it had actually performed a background look at Del Olmo, however due to the fact that he was not founded guilty in a previous case, he was permitted to be a host. The business likewise stated it eliminated him from the website after knowing of Lapayowkers claims.

Lapayowker transferred to Los Angeles in July of 2016 for a brand-new task as a home mortgage broker and had actually prepared to reside in Del Olmos Airbnb for a month while trying to find irreversible real estate. Del Olmo, who was leasing a studio connected to his home, was a confirmed user and thought about a superhost for Airbnb, implying he had favorable evaluations and regularly had visitors.

I presumed that I would remain in particularly great hands, stated Lapayowker.

But, inning accordance with the match, Del Olmo right away made her unpleasant by making sexually suggestive remarks, pounding on her windscreen while she remained in her vehicle and shrieking at his boy loud enough so she might hear.

He frightened me, she included.

Lapayowker chose to leave after 3 nights, when she went back to get a laptop computer she left and informed him she was leaving early, Del Olmo stated he wished to reveal her something of value inside the studio, the fit stated.

He then supposedly locked the door, dropped his shorts and started masturbating in front of her, requiring that she touch him and taste it. He neglected her pleas to stop, pushed his tongue into her mouth and ultimately climaxed into a trashcan, inning accordance with the claim.

He then let her leave the space, stating, Don’t forget to leave me a favorable evaluation on Airbnb, the problem stated.

I was entirely in shock. I was absolutely numb, Lapayowker remembered, stating she at first was reluctant calling cops. I was frightened he would discover where I come and live after me.

Later that month, she reported the occurrence to authorities and to Airbnb, which prohibited Del Olmo from the website. Authorities eventually decreased to submit charges, since authorities stated there was insufficient proof, inning accordance with Lapayowkers lawyer. District attorneys did not right away react to ask for remark.

But a lawyer for Lapayowker found that Del Olmo had an earlier arrest in Florida for a battery charge and domestic violence case. An authorities report stated that, inning accordance with the victims account, he had actually pulled her hair and dragged her throughout an argument. He went into a diversion program, which is an alternative to prosecution, the records revealed.

Lapayowker, who had actually formerly been an Airbnb superhost herself, stated she remained in shock when she found out of the previous case: I was simply furious. Why would they let someone like this be a host?

An Airbnb representative stated it runs background examine all United States visitors and hosts, searching for matches with terrorist watch lists, felony convictions, sex transgressor pc registries and considerable misdemeanors.

The abhorrent habits explained has no location in our neighborhood and we will not endure it. We have actually been attempting to support her in any method we can and we will continue to do so, the business stated in a declaration to the Guardian.

Del Olmo declared the encounter with Lapayowker was consensual. He stated: This female simply totally made and lied whatever up. He stated that the lady in the Florida case likewise kept in mind and lied that he was not founded guilty.

He likewise argued that it was unjust for Airbnb to kick him off the platform: Airbnb has no regard for the property owner who is the one putting themselves in a liability circumstance.

Teresa Li, Lapayowkers lawyer, argued that Airbnb misguides users with branding that highlights the security of the platform and calling it a relied on neighborhood market.

They draw you in and provide you this incorrect complacency, she stated.

Airbnb has actually formerly argued that it is not lawfully accountable when its hosts racially discriminate or breach regional real estate laws .

Lapayowker, who stated she is struggling with trauma, stated she felt Airbnb didnt take her case seriously: I seem like they do not care. Their whole design is to simply get as much company as possible.

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