Terranea Resort sits on a picturesque, dream-like plot of land on the cliffs of Rancho Palos Verdes, but a woman is alleging that working there turned into a nightmare that included sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Silvia Jasmin Sanchez, 26, filed an amended complaint to her lawsuit against the resort Wednesday and has come forward to detail to NBC4 the harassment she experienced and the negative impact her time at Terranea Resort had on her life.
Sanchez says she was a uniform attendant, a job she loved because it allowed her to interact with all the resort employees. However, she says her interaction with one supervisor was both unwelcome and unacceptable.
Sanchez shared a text message exchange that her complaint alleges occurred in 2016 with her harasser, a security manager. The manager tells Sanchez he's watching her on camera.
"He says, 'I keep getting aroused thinking about it,'" Sanchez reads the text messages, which continue on to detail an explicit act.
"I can't believe it happened to me," Sanchez says.
The complaint alleges that the unwanted behavior escalated until the security manager cornered her and groped her. Sanchez says the sexual assault came after Human Resources brushed off her concerns.
Terranea Resort sent NBC4 a statement that said, in part, that it vehemently denies the allegations and has a zero-tolerance police toward harassment of any kind.
"Terranea takes all staff comments and concerns very seriously, as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure our associates have a workplace in which they feel valued, respected and safe," the resort said in the statement. "Terranea vehemently denies the allegations being leveled against it by former employees and one current employee that have recently been reported. Terranea has a zero-tolerance policy toward harassment of any kind. We do not comment on pending litigation."
Sanchez, however, is not alone and is now one of several hospitality workers with assault and harassment claims against the resort. The others coming forward, Sanchez says, inspired her to speak out.
Sanchez was joined by seven other women, all former and current employees at Terranea Resort with similar claims, at a news conference Thursday.