A New Jersey couple is suing a high-end resort in the Bahamas for $30 million after the woman was allegedly molested the night before their nuptials by a butler who was designated to assist them.
The incident apparently happened over two years ago, and the bride, 32-year-old Ashley Reid, told the New York Post that she still suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related to the alleged assault.
While Reid was asleep at Sandals Resort, just after celebrating the eve of their wedding with dozens of loved ones, she said the groom, Jeffrey Pascarella, was in the bathroom when an unsettling feeling came over her. She said it wasn’t long before she realized their butler, Moral Adderley, had “snuck into the room,” according to the newspaper, citing a Manhattan Supreme court lawsuit.
“Something was prompting me to wake up, something was wrong,” Reid recalled to the New York Post. “As I started to wake myself up, I realized his hands were down my pants and I jumped out of bed.”
While Reid said “he ran out of the room” after she “screamed,” she said it was hard to make sense of what had went on right away.
“I was in shock,” she said.
The woman said she then ran to check on her husband-to-be before she went out in search of the alleged molester.
Adderley was subsequently arrested after the couple reported the incident to the resort and to authorities.
While Reid said that hotel staff “assured” the couple that the butler was fired that same night, that did not appear to be the case: The next morning Adderley allegedly called her personal phone “to take her breakfast order as if the assault had never occurred.”
Despite the shock and turmoil the couple said they experienced, they still moved forward with the wedding.
“We had almost 70 people there. We couldn’t disappoint them,” Reid explained.
Pascarella said the resort didn’t want the couple to involve police, but did so after they wouldn’t back down about what they claimed went on. Days later, the butler reportedly pleaded guilty to indecent assault charges.
“Throughout the process, the [resort staff] were just very dismissive,” the husband said. “They didn’t want us to call the police. I think they were just doing everything they could not to escalate this and just move on.”
Further, Pascarella said the resort offered to rectify the situation by providing them with $15,000, the cost of the wedding, but only if they would sign a legal document that required the duo to keep the account confidential—an offer they refused. Instead, they decided to tell their story.
“There was obviously some reluctance between both of us to want to take anything public but we felt it was the right thing to do,” Pascarella said.
The couple’s attorney said the $15,000 offer by the resort wasn’t adequate considering the effects his clients still face.
“This is something that will stay with these folks for the rest of their lives. This was their wedding and it wasn’t a breaking of glasses and spilling of an entrée, it was so traumatic,” Iannuzzi told the newspaper.
A representative for the resort explained through a statement to the New York Post that they are working with officials during the pending lawsuit, and “take allegations of criminal assault at our resorts seriously.”
“We have worked tirelessly over decades to create a safe and enjoyable environment at our resorts, and our efforts include collaborating with various government and law enforcement resources to ensure we are among the safest resorts operating in the Caribbean.”
The bride described the incident as “surreal” and mentally damaging.
“It just didn’t feel like what you grow up imagining your whole life what your wedding would be like,” she told the newspaper.
[Feature photo: Jeff Pascarella & Ashley Reid/Facebook]