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Man Suspected of Entering Wrong Hotel Room and Molesting 9-Year-Old Girl

A Ritz-Carlton desk clerk gave the man a replacement key card without checking room number, police said.

A man is suspected of forcing his way into a suite at in Clayton and molesting a 9-year-old girl early Sunday morning, according to Clayton police.

The suspect is Daniel T. Hughes, 42, an Enterprise Rent-a-Car employee from the Philadelphia area. He was staying with a registered guest at the hotel and returned to the Ritz-Carlton at about 4 a.m. Sunday, said Clayton Police Chief Tom Byrne.

“He got confused about which hotel he was in,” Byrne said.

Hughes had a key card for his room, but got the room number wrong, Byrne
said. When his card wouldn’t work, Hughes went to the front desk and asked for a
new key card.

Hughes had been staying in a room at the hotel with another man who was a registered guest, Byrne said.

“He gave the front desk guy the wrong room number, he gets a new key for the wrong room,” Byrne said.

The clerk did not check to make sure that Byrne asked for the correct room number, Byrne said.

The room was occupied by a St. Louis-area family spending the night in the hotel. The door to their two-bedroom suite was chained, but Hughes forced his way inside.

He entered the bedroom occupied by a 9-year-old girl and two 14-year-old girls.

The older girls and the 9-year-old’s parents, who were in a separate bedroom, slept through the incident.

“He then molests the 9-year-old girl in her bed,” Byrne said. “The 9-year-old then goes in and tells her parents there’s a man in her bedroom, they got up and chased him out.”

Clayton police arrested Hughes in the lobby.

Hughes has been charged with three counts of child molestation and one count of sodomy. He is being held at St. Louis County Justice Center. A cash-only bond has been set at $250,000.

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