Cheri Marchionda’s life eternally modified on April 10, 2014, when – touring alone for work – she was sexually assaulted when a person obtained entry to her room at an Iowa Embassy Suites lodge. The assailant obtained a key to her room from the entrance desk with out having to confirm his id, and entered her room in the course of the evening.

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The Red Tea Detox

Marchionda advised “CBS This Morning: Saturday” co-host Dana Jacobson she used to common a visit per week for work, taking the identical precautions many do on the highway, like utilizing the protection bolt in her lodge room.

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However on this specific journey to Des Moines, one other lodge visitor nonetheless discovered a approach into her room the place she had already gone to sleep for the evening.

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Cheri Marchionda was touring alone for work when a person was given a key to her room at an Iowa Embassy Suites lodge with out having to confirm his id.

CBS Information


“The subsequent factor I bear in mind was somebody touching my leg,” Marchionda stated. “And it startled me. I wakened considering I used to be at dwelling. So at first I am like, rubbing my eyes. I am like, ‘Wait a minute. No, you are on this room, after which who is that this man?’ And so, you recognize, in these seconds, you are making an attempt to course of, like, who is that this particular person on the finish of your mattress? And that is when he stated, ‘You are not gonna scream rape.’

“He had one thing in his hand. Was it a knife, was it a gun, was it the distant management? I do not know. However at that second, you are so scared as a result of you do not know what’s taking place or what’s gonna occur. I bear in mind him making an attempt to nestle his head in my neck. I bear in mind him pulling my pajamas off.”

He sexually assaulted and raped Marchionda for over two hours.

Dana Jacobson requested, “Did you attempt to scream, although he had advised you to not?”

“Sure, assume you’re, however nothing comes out. You assume you are kicking, and your legs do not transfer. And the freezing half is the toughest half I feel for me. As a result of it was, ‘I am this powerful lady, and I have been touring all alongside,’ and you recognize, you assume if it ever occurs to you, you are gonna kick butt. And in that second, you need to survive, and that is all I considered, was surviving. As a result of I’ve these three lovely kids I wished to go dwelling to.”

Marchionda is a single mother of three from Pennsylvania, and on the time, she was an govt at one of many largest frozen meals producers in america.

The very last thing she remembers from when he was together with her was saying to him, “‘I am gonna throw up, I am gonna throw up, let me throw up.’ And he is like, ‘You are not gonna throw up. You will be superb.’

“I went out to the residing space, and I noticed, like, he was gone. So, then I relocked the door, and I moved the chair from the desk, and went proper into the bathe. It was, like, you are actually scrubbing your physique as onerous as you’ll be able to. And sooner or later, I bear in mind being so drained I simply sat down and simply cried within the tub.”

Jacobson requested, “Did you assume in any respect, ‘I ought to name the police? I must report this?'”

“No, I did not even assume,” she replied. “I do not assume you assume in that occasion.”

Marchionda’s attacker, Christopher Lapointe, was a daily visitor at that Embassy Suites. She says he approached her on the lodge bar the evening she checked in, and once more the next evening, hours earlier than coming into her room. She says he flirted together with her, and in that second encounter described him as loud, obnoxious, and visibly drunk.

She says she tried to maintain him at a distance, and finally left the bar and returned to her room alone, placing on the additional security lock, and went to mattress.

Then, “My room telephone rang. I choose up the telephone, and that is when he stated, ‘Do you need to hang around?’ And I acknowledged the voice from the final two days, and I stated, ‘No.’ And that is after I stated, ‘How did you get this quantity?’ And he stated to me, ‘I’ve buddies.'”

Jacobson requested, “Have been you nervous at this level, realizing that he knew what room you had been in?”

“No, as a result of I had the lock on. I imply, there was nothing to fret about. I imply, you recognize, you get right into a room. That is your protected haven, regardless of the place you’re, you recognize, it doesn’t matter what type of lodge it’s. That is type of your house.”

Based on court docket paperwork, not solely did the entrance desk fail to carry out a compulsory id test, however when Lapointe first tried to enter her room, the safety latch was in place. He then known as the entrance desk to ship up a upkeep man to disable the latch, once more with no ID verification.

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On this picture taken from the lodge’s safety digital camera, Christopher Lapointe (higher proper) requested, and obtained, a key to Cheri Marchionda’s room with out offering ID. 

CBS Information


In December 2014, Lapointe pleaded responsible to sexual abuse, and was sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Jacobson requested, “Is that justice sufficient for you, him being behind bars?”

“No, not even shut,” Marchionda replied. “I wished the those who gave him the important thing to be held accountable as properly.”

In 2015 Marchionda filed a civil swimsuit towards the businesses that owned and managed the Embassy Suites lodge in Des Moines, alleging negligence and carelessness. This month they settled for an undisclosed quantity.

Jacobson requested, “The place are issues after this, 5 years later nearly?”

“I am on long-term incapacity now, which then eradicated my place at my firm,” Marchionda replied. “I might most likely say for the primary three years, I believed it was simply me who was going by this. These final two years have been a watch opener for not solely my kids, however my brother, my dad, my mother, my cousins, my uncle. While you’re type of, like, that apple of someone’s eye, and also you’re working so onerous in your profession, and your uncle is so happy with you, to must, you recognize, that he is aware of what occurred to you. … On the finish of the day he nonetheless appears at me like this damaged individual that he simply needs to place his arm round you and shield you.”

“It isn’t a simple story to inform. Why did you are feeling you wanted to inform it?”

“So, individuals are conscious that while you assume you are gonna go right into a lodge room, and that you simply’re gonna fall asleep and shut your eyes, and that you simply’re protected, you are not,” she stated. “They want to determine a greater system inside the {industry} to determine find out how to preserve individuals protected.”

Atrium Hospitality, which owns that franchise of Embassy Suites in Des Moines, advised “CBS This Morning” it’s “targeted on industry-leading security practices to supply” for its friends. The corporate added that the phrases of the settlement are confidential.

John Q. Hammons, which managed the lodge, has no remark.

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