CHARLOTTE — A woman said she was drugged and sexually assaulted while on vacation in the Dominican Republic.
Channel 9 doesn’t typically identify victims of sexual assault, but Angie Jackson felt it was important to share her story to warn others.
“I love all-inclusive resorts,” said Jackson. “I love just hanging out by the pool and the beach.”
Jackson said she was staying at the Royalton CHIC Punta Cana in January when, one night, Jackson’s friend went to bed early so she stayed downstairs to watch the entertainment.
“I had a glass of wine,” Jackson said. “They would come and wait on you and bring it from the bar.”
Next thing Jackson knew, she said she was jolted awake when her knees hit the pavement.
Jackson said she was dumped in an alley behind the hotel.
“(I) starting to cry,” Jackson said. “My dress was soaked with blood.”
She was rushed to the hospital.
“I was told by them that I had been brutally raped with either metal or glass,” Jackson said.
Jackson said she asked for the police, who didn’t show up until the next day. She said they did not speak English, stayed about 10 minutes, and did not take notes.
Her body started swelling, and she said the doctor told her she might not survive.
“And I said, ‘I just … I can’t be here. I can’t, I can’t die here,” Jackson said. “And I just want to get back to my kids so bad.”
She said that’s when she was pressed for money.
“The doctor came in and he said that I needed to do more transfusions, but that every transfusion was $1,000,” she said. “And every test to see if I needed another transfusion was $1,000. And I’d already burned up $8,000. And that I needed to pay that before I could get any more. And I said, ‘I don’t have $8,000 cash just laying around. I’m a single mom.’”
Jackson said she drained her kids’ college fund and borrowed money from relatives and friends to pay the bill.
She said she boarded the next flight anxious to get home despite the doctor’s warning that her life was still at risk.
Once back in the U.S., Jackson said she spoke with officials at the U.S. Embassy who pointed out that the Dominican Republic was under a travel alert—threat level two.
That warns that rapes and sexual assaults have been reported throughout the Dominican Republic, including at major resorts and hotels. U.S. citizens have been targeted with date rape drugs.
It also warns of the country’s weak criminal justice system.
Jackson now tells people to be cautious.
“Just always watch where you’re at,” she said. “Always watch where you’re at.”
She said the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic told her she would need to stay in the country and work with local authorities for any criminal investigation but she was eager to get back to safety in the U.S.
“The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens abroad,” a State Department official told Channel 9. “We are aware of the case but have no details to confirm at this time.”
Channel 9 contacted the resort, the hospital and police in the Dominican Republic for comment.
Blue Diamond Resorts released a statement on Thursday.
“Blue Diamond Resorts takes all reports of assault very seriously. We are aware of the claim made by a guest at Royalton CHIC Punta Cana and are investigating, as it happened outside the property. Out of respect for the guest and their privacy it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.
“The safety of our guests remains our top priority at Blue Diamond Resorts.”
Check travel advisories here.
- Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
- The Sisterhood Against Sexual Assault
- Instagram: The Sisterhood Against Sexual Assault
VIDEO: Woman says she was attacked while on island vacation
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