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Man who got into girl’s hotel bed at the Ritz settles with family

A man acquitted of criminal charges after an incident in which he ended up in a girl’s bed at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton has settled with the girl’s family for $50,000.

The civil lawsuit against the hotel is still pending, with trial set for Aug. 4. The suit was filed in 2011.

Court records indicate the settlement between the girl’s family and Daniel Hughes was approved June 26 in St. Louis County Circuit Court by Judge Richard Bresnahan.

Hughes, who is from Pennsylvania, was acquitted in April by a jury of all criminal charges, including child molestation and statutory sodomy. He had drunkenly entered the wrong room while staying at the Ritz on a business trip and touched the female he found sleeping in the bed — a 9-year-old girl whom Hughes said he mistook for a consenting adult who expected his presence.

All parties at the trial agreed that the Ritz provided Hughes with the key to the room where the child was sleeping, rather than to his own room. The hotel clerk verified that Hughes was registered at the hotel but gave him the key he asked for, not the key to the room where he was actually staying.

Previous defendants also included in the suit, including Hughes’ employer at the time of the incident, were dropped earlier. The family’s attorney, Maurice B. Graham at Gray Ritter & Graham in St. Louis, would only say those parties had been dropped for “various strategic reasons.”

Hughes’ attorney in the criminal trial, Scott Rosenblum, repeatedly noted in court that the family was seeking more than $5 million from the Ritz in the civil suit. Graham previously would not confirm that figure, saying only that they would be happy to let the jury decide what fair and reasonable damages would be.

The case is Jane Doe, et al., v. Daniel T. Hughes, et al., 11SL-CC01159.