A woman who suffered a horrific rape in a hotel parking garage in 2009 has been awarded a multi-million dollar verdict from the jury hearing her case. Kira Wahlstrom, who was brutally assaulted in a Boston based Radisson hotel parking garage, had pressed charges against the owners of the hotel and the garage for what happened to her. The jury found that the company that owned the hotel at the time of the attack, JPA, was negligent—and in their negligence they contributed to this assault taking place.
The attack on Kira Wahlstrom occurred shortly after she exited an elevator on her way to her vehicle after work. The man riding the elevator with Ms. Wahlstrom grabbed her by the neck and head and proceeded to drag her into a stairwell where he violently raped her for over 25 minutes. Kira Wahlstrom screamed for help—but no one came to her aid. According to new reports, two security guards were in the lobby of the hotel at the time of the incident but neither of the guards responded to her cries. It was not made immediately clear if they had heard the attack at the time.
Just 12 days prior to the attack Wahlstrom faced, another woman was raped by the same suspect at the same garage. The unidentified woman was an employee for the hotel at the time of the assault. Kira Wahlstrom feels as though it were the duty of the hotel management as well as the management for the parking garage to inform the public about the attack that took place so individuals may be able to protect themselves accordingly. “It could have been prevented,” Wahlstrom has said about her assault. The jury for the case similarly concluded that the owners of the garage were responsible for informing others of the initial attack in order to protect others from suffering the same fate.
The jury from Suffolk County has awarded Kira Wahlstrom $4 million—with interest, the amount raises to approximately $6.6 million in total. Wahlstrom had originally filed the complaint with the hopes of receiving $1 million in damages. She told local reporters that she feels as though now she has received justice for what happened to her in 2009. “It means the world. It really does,” she was quoted as saying after the verdict was announced. Ms. Wahlstron was represented by Attorney Daneil Keenan (no affiliation with Altman & Altman LLP)
The attorney representing JPA, the company that owned and managed the garage adjacent to the Radisson hotel, has that they respect the decision of the jury and that they are not planning an appeal. The actual parking company itself, LAZ Parking, was cleared of negligence as they primarily assisted in what the management company requested as per their contract. The attorney representing LAZ Parking, John Jarosak, offered sentiments of condolence for Kira Wahlstrom and was quoted as saying “LAZ Parking is very happy with the jury’s decision and we wish Ms. Wahlstrom nothing but the very best.”
The man accused of raping Kira Wahlstrom and a former hotel employee was later identified as Jose Ruben Rivera III. Ruben Rivera pleaded guilty to both assaults and is facing a 15 year jail sentence.
The attorney representing Kira Wahlstrom, Don Keenan, has stated that he hopes the ruling in this case will cause the Mayor and city council to review their safety measures and make a greater effort to secure the well-being of patrons who frequent parking garages. “They need to do something so that people are safe when they go there,” Wahlstrom was quoted as saying in addition to the comments offered by Don Keenan.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Martin Walsh’s office has expressed that Boston Police officers work with parking garages directly to ensure the safety and well-being of customers. She has said that they will continuously work toward protecting the public in the future in order to prevent any further attacks from taking place.
Additional information and quotes may be found at the following link: http://www.wcvb.com/news/jury-awards-parking-garage-rape-victim-66m-verdict/34656372