Oct. 3, 2003 – A stateside family has filed suit in District Court against the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort alleging that its officials attempted to cover up the conviction of now-imprisoned former employee Bryan Hornby after the family raised suspicions about their 8-year-old daughter having been molested while a guest there.
The Rhode Island family is seeking unspecified damages from Wyndham International, the resort's management, and Hornby.
Two other families earlier filed civil actions in District Court alleging that Hornby sexually abused their daughters in April 2000 while employed at the resort.
Wyndham officials declined to comment on the lawsuits, citing a company policy against discussing pending litigation.
A native of Zimbabwe, Hornby worked as a coordinator of children's programs at Sugar Bay from December 1999 to May 2000.
In March 2001, a Territorial Court jury convicted Hornby, 26, of a single count of unlawful sexual contact at the resort in April 2000 in a case involving a 9-year-old Virginia girl. He is currently halfway through the five-year prison sentence received for that conviction.
Through the most recent lawsuit, the Rhode Island family alleges that Hornby also abused their daughter that same month.
According to court records, the family became suspicious in February 2001 when their daughter told them that Hornby had molested her. The month that Hornby was convicted, the Rhode Island girl's father lodged a complaint with Wyndham's corporate management in Texas asking that the matter be investigated, the suit alleges. Wyndham officials contacted the family in mid-April and implied they had conducted an investigation and fired Hornby, the suit states.
But "the real reason why Bryan Hornby had been fired is that just a few weeks earlier, defendant Hornby had been convicted in a Virgin Islands court of molesting" the Virginia victim, the suit alleges. Wyndham officials "intentionally concealed from [the father] the fact of defendant Hornby's conviction and molestation," it charges.
The Virginia family filed its civil suit prior to Hornby's conviction in the criminal case. The third suit was filed last December by a Massachusetts family alleging Hornby abused their 8-year-old daughter, also in April 2000. No trial date has been set for any of the suits.
Hornby could face more criminal charges. Prosecutors in the Attorney General's Office said they are investigating the allegations in the lawsuits involving the other two girls.
Also, a month after Hornby's conviction, officials in East Bethel, Minnesota, issued a warrant for his arrest, charging him with second-degree criminal sexual conduct in a case involving a 7-year-old girl. According to the warrant, Hornby was in Minnesota in August 1999 visiting a family he had met earlier that year while working as children's programs coordinator at a Wyndham resort in Puerto Rico.
The Minnesota charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.
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