PHILADELPHIA – A plaintiff whose drink was said to have been drugged before allegedly being raped by multiple employees of a resort hotel in the Dominican Republic has filed legal action against the resort’s local management companies.

Shelby Tarbox and Scott Tarbox of Sanford, Maine filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on March 13 versus AM Resorts, LP (doing business as “Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa”) and Apple Vacations, LLC, both of Newtown Square.

“On or about March 11, 2017, plaintiffs arrived at the [Breathless Punta Cana Resort and Spa,] resort as a resort guest. On or about March 13, 2017, while at the resort, plaintiff, Shelby Tarbox, was given a drink by an employee of the resort. While she did not consume many drinks during her visit at the resort, this drink tasted noticeably different from the others,” the suit says.

“Shortly thereafter, plaintiff began to feel disoriented and dizzy. As she made her way to the woman’s restroom and entered the stall, an employee of all defendants followed behind her. While in the stall, plaintiff Shelby Tarbox was sexually assaulted and raped by at least three resort employees, one of whom was Jordy Balbuena.”

Shelby claims to have suffered head injuries plus bruising to her head, face and breasts during the sexual assault and rape in question, in addition to post-concussive symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Tarboxes accuse the defendants of failing to provide adequate security at the resort, failing to protect its guests at the resort and failing to perform adequate background checks on its employees working at the resort, among other charges.

For counts of negligence and loss of consortium, the plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs and attorney’s fees.

The plaintiffs are represented by Michael T. van der Veen of the Law Offices of Michael T. van der Veen, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180301527

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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