Woman sues Airbnb over alleged sexual assault

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San Francisco, July 28 (IANS) An Airbnb guest is seeking to hold the company accountable for alleged sexual assault, claiming in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit that she was attacked by a host in Los Angeles who was not properly screened, the media reported on Friday.

The suit, filed on Thursday by Leslie Lapayowker, is accusing Airbnb of negligence when it allowed her to rent a room from Carlos Del Olmo, who was previously accused of domestic violence.

“I don’t want this to happen to other women,” Lapayowker, a 51-year-old New Mexico woman, told the Guardian here.

“It was horrible, and I think that everybody should be warned that this could potentially happen to them or their daughter or their wife or their sister.”

In response, Del Olmo told the Guardian that he was not aware of the complaint and denied the sexual assault allegation.

An Airbnb spokesperson said that it had conducted a background check on Del Olmo but because he was not convicted in a previous case, he was allowed to be a host. The company also said it removed him from the site after learning of Lapayowker’s claims.

Lapayowker moved to Los Angeles in July 2016 for a new job as a mortgage broker and had planned to live in Del Olmo’s Airbnb for a month while looking for permanent housing.

Del Olmo, who was renting a studio attached to his house, was a “verified” user and considered a “superhost” for Airbnb, meaning he had positive reviews and frequently had guests.

–IANS

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