MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Last week, Anna Burgese and her husband, Joseph, of Medford, N.J., filed a civil lawsuit against Starwood Hotels & Resorts over an attack she suffered at the W South Beach Hotel in Miami Beach. Anna Burgese claims that she was attacked by a group of prostitutes when she was mistaken for a possible business rival. The sex workers did not realize that Anna Burgese was the only woman from New Jersey who was not a prostitute.
In a statement, a Starwood spokesman said the resort “truly regrets that this incident occurred and that one of our guests was injured. But you have to admit, when you see a woman from New Jersey, you’ve got some stellar odds that she’s a sex worker.”
In their suit, the Burgeses claim that hotel employees did not try to stop the prostitutes after the attack, and even helped them leave before the police arrived. Lance Rogers, the Burgeses’ lawyer, says the hotel is refusing to release surveillance footage of the incident and is being difficult in general.
“The Burgeses want justice, they want [the alleged attackers] caught and prosecuted,” Rogers told the Daily News. “The hotel has done absolutely nothing to help them and, in fact, has stood in the way of the process of finding justice for this poor hooker.”
Rogers later corrected himself, maintaining his client is not a prostitute. He went on to accuse the W of fostering a “prostitute-friendly environment where prostitutes are permitted to market themselves on premises. It’s like New Jersey but a microcosm, confined to a hotel.”
Police have yet to make any arrests in the case.