Jose Lambiet

Women sue hotel, say manager sexually abused them while they were drunk

With prices in the $200 range and an open bar nightly from 7 to 8, the Catalina at 1732 Collins Ave. in Miami Beach has become popular with spring breakers.
With prices in the $200 range and an open bar nightly from 7 to 8, the Catalina at 1732 Collins Ave. in Miami Beach has become popular with spring breakers. Miami Herald file photo

Miami Beach’s Catalina Hotel, the scene of the 2012 CW network reality series “The Catalina,” has been hit with twin lawsuits brought by two female tourists who claim the resort’s manager escorted one of them to their room then sexually abused them both.

The incident, according to the lawsuits filed in Miami-Dade County circuit court, allegedly took place a year ago. The women are only identified in court files as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2.

With prices in the $200 range and an open bar nightly from 7 to 8 p.m., the Catalina at 1732 Collins Ave. has become popular with spring breakers.

But last February, the complaints read, hotel manager Leonardo Somarriba allegedly escorted Jane Doe 2 back to her room after she and roommate Jane Doe 1 “consumed several alcoholic drinks” during the complimentary hour.

When they arrived to the room, Jane Doe 1 was asleep on her bed.

“Once in the room, Somarriba forced himself on Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, including forcibly performing oral sex on both while Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 were in a nearly unconscious state,” the complaint reads.

The negligence lawsuit faults the hotel for offering free booze without enforcing safety rules.

The Jane Does lawyer didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Thomas Fabricio, the hotel’s attorney, declined comment.

In his answer filed last month, he wrote the women carried themselves so negligently that they caused the assault.

A clerk at the hotel said Somarriba stopped working at The Catalina “months ago.”

Billed as the poor man's “Jersey Shore,” the 2012 TV series showed the hotel as a permanent party place where staff and guests often mingled.

Last month, WPLG-Channel 10 reported the hotel’s sushi restaurant, Fung Ku, was ordered closed by state health inspectors after they found “30-35 live roaches” in a cooler.

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