A Myrtle Beach hospitality company facing federal visa fraud charges is now being blamed for an alleged rape committed by one of its foreign workers that was in the United States illegally.
An Horry County woman filed a lawsuit Monday against Grandeur Management and a local Marriott hotel, where she says she was raped by a co-worker while working as a laundry attendant.
The woman, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, alleged the man who raped her, Carlton Sanderson, had a “history of sexual assaults” in his native Jamaica.
Sanderson was employed by Grandeur Management, which has a history of involvement in illegal practices including human trafficking, visa fraud and money laundering, the lawsuit states.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina named Grandeur and its president, Raja Imran Younas, last year in an ongoing federal visa fraud suit, alleging that the company scammed, underpaid and lied to foreign workers who were in Myrtle Beach on work visas.
The Residence Inn by Marriott Myrtle Beach Oceanfront, where Sanderson and Doe worked, “knew or should have known the danger of hiring illegal workers, including Sanderson specifically, with a history of sexual assaults.”
The woman also alleged that Marriott knew or should have known about Grandeur Management’s illegal business practices and chose to contract with them anyway for the purpose of staffing the hotel with discounted foreign labor.
The lawsuit lists Residence Inn by Marriott Myrtle Beach Oceanfront, SREE MB Hotel Partners, LLC, Marriott International, Inc., and Grandeur Management as defendants.
Grandeur Management could not be reached for comment.
A Residence Inn by Marriott manager directed a Sun News reporter to speak to the Marriott’s corporate office. A call to SREE Hotels went to voicemail.
Doe, who was 19 at the time of alleged rape, is a “special needs individual with multiple mental health diagnoses,” the lawsuit states.
Doe said she was raped by Sanderson about 10 p.m. April 28, 2019 in a linen room at the hotel, according to the lawsuit.
After the rape, Sanderson “immediately fled” ran away from the hotel, and Doe reported the rape to her co-workers and law enforcement, the suit states.
Doe was taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center for a physical examination.
“The forcible nature of the sexual encounter was confirmed upon medical examination” at the hospital, the lawsuit states.
During the police investigation, Sanderson “admitted to having previously forced and/or coerced other women” into sex in Jamaica.
Marriott contracted with Grandeur Management to provide foreign workers for its hotel on 2605 S. Ocean Boulevard “at wages below that which were prevailing in Myrtle Beach,” according to the suit.
Sanderson was arrested and charged with sexual assault, and it was determined during the charging process that Sanderson had been brought to the United States illegally and was unlawfully employed, the lawsuit states.
He was deported to Jamaica to face criminal charges abroad. No contact information for Sanderson could be located.
Younas was among three people arrested last summer after authorities say foreign workers in Myrtle Beach on work visas were scammed, underpaid and lied to about their working and living conditions.
A separate pair of complaints alleging violations under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act were also filed against Grandeur and Younas in recent years.
Some of the charges against Younas were made in connection with the services provided to businesses including the Residence Inn, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit alleges “grossly negligent acts” on the part of the Marriott, and that contracting through Grandeur Management was a “direct and proximate cause” of Doe’s assault and injuries.
She requested an undisclosed amount of money in punitive damages.
This story was originally published February 7, 2022 2:46 PM.