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Airbnb reportedly paid tourist $7 million after rape in New York City

After the alleged attack, an Airbnb safety team contacted the local police department to offer its assistance and placed the victim in a hotel. It also offered to pay the costs for counselling and flew her mother from Australia to the US. 

Airbnb reportedly paid tourist 7 million dollars after rape in New York City-VPN
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New York, First Published Jun 16, 2021, 6:50 PM IST
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An Australian traveller has reportedly received a payout of 7 million dollars after she was allegedly raped at knifepoint at a New York City rental property on New Year's eve in 2015. 

According to Bloomberg, which cited the case as part of its extensive investigation into Airbnb's internal safety team, the victim and her friend had picked up the keys to the rental property from a nearby shop that evening. The report claims that the suspect had made a copy of the keys, which he used to gain access before the attack. The traveller returned to the property a little after midnight as the suspect hid in the bathroom. 

The suspect, 24-year-old Junior Lee, has been charged with predatory sexual assault and has pled not guilty. He, however, remains in custody.

After the alleged attack, an Airbnb safety team contacted the local police department to offer its assistance and placed the victim in a hotel. It also offered to pay the costs for counselling and flew her mother from Australia to the US. 

According to the Bloomberg report, as part of the 7 million dollar settlement, the victim cannot sue Airbnb or the apartment host where the alleged incident took place; the settlement was reached two years after the alleged attack. 

The incident threw a spotlight on the safety standards of the rental company. According to Bloomberg, the company has still not changed its policy and rules on keys and where the hosts can leave them despite the New York incident. 

Hosts on the platform are not required to use keypad locks or change codes between booking. They are also not required to tell the company who else has a copy of the keys.

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