Coral Gables

Another Woman Comes Forward Claiming Sex Abuse at Biltmore Hotel

NBC Universal, Inc.

A day after a woman came forward to claim she was sexually assaulted by a former massage therapist at the iconic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, another woman has come forward with similar accusations.

Seda Aktas exclusively told NBC 6 about the day she went to the Biltmore for a relaxing massage that ended in disbelief.

"I had been sobbing and it was difficult to catch my breath and he showed up with Coral Gables Police Department," Aktas said while describing the moments when a friend brought officers to her to report the alleged abuse.

"I felt him touch my genitals and I think I was shocked and I think he went on for a bit," she said.

A South Florida woman said the then-lead massage therapist at the iconic Biltmore Hotel sexually assaulted her. NBC 6's Willard Shepard reports

On Thursday, another woman who requested her name not be used said that she too was sexually assaulted at the Biltmore. She is now speaking with Coral Gables detectives who when investigating Aktas’ allegation, police records show, discovered the Biltmore was aware of two prior complaints of inappropriate touching by Oscar Ojeda, the former massage therapist at the hotel.

NBC 6 obtained video of Ojeda in a police interview room the day he was arrested in May and charged with misdemeanor battery for how he allegedly touched Aktas.

The woman who contacted NBC 6 on Thursday is working with police to see if Ojeda is the therapist who gave her a massage.

Ojeda has entered a not guilty plea to the single battery count he has been charged with concerning Aktas. Coral Gables Police charged him with one count of misdemeanor battery concerning another woman. Ojeda is presumed innocent on the charge. His attorney said they will have no other comment.

The Biltmore said it's cooperating with police and sent a statement.

"The Biltmore’s top priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of all our guests and employees. We were disheartened to learn about this guest’s experience and our former employee’s conduct, the latter of whom is not a part of the Biltmore team," the statement read. "We do not condone this kind of behavior and it is certainly not in any way a representation of the Biltmore and the quality of the services we provide. We will continue to cooperate with all relevant authorities and legal parties to ensure the matter is properly addressed, and therefore cannot comment further on the matter given it is currently under litigation."

Aktas is now suing the Biltmore and a major thrust of the lawsuit is to bring changes to Biltmore’s procedures.

"It’s difficult to speak up, I would say, if you are a victim of violence," Aktas said.

Adriana Alcalde, Aktas' attorney, said any business should reveal complaints like these so customers can make educated choices.

"It’s not something that should be swept under the rug," Alcalde said. "If she had known there had been two prior complaints of this type of nature against this man, I can assure you that there’s no way she would have allowed him to give her a massage. Not just any establishment but the Biltmore, which I mean if there’s any place where people thought that they could feel safe it's someplace like the Biltmore."

Aktas said she hopes coming forward will encourage abuse victims from any situation to do so.

"I would say speak up. I would speak up," Aktas said. "It’s the only way really prevent or try to prevent—your best to prevent it from happening to anybody else from that particular perpetrator."

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