Akron Fright Fest responds to ‘simulated rape’ lawsuit

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AKRON -- The Akron Fright Fest haunted house is responding to the lawsuit filed against them.

An Akron couple filed a lawsuit October 13, suing the haunted house following what they refer to as a "simulated rape." They are seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

Jeremy Caudill, the managing partner of Melanie Lake Inc. at Kim Tam Park, released the following statement Sunday:

"We are disheartened that two customers have decided to take legal action against me and my management team for alleged criminal actions of a few “bad actors.” The safety and wellbeing of everyone at our haunted houses customers and employees has always been our utmost priority and we would never knowingly put any of our customers in a dangerous situation.

The plaintiffs never complained to us of any injuries, either at the scene or afterwards. If they had, we would have attended to their medical needs immediately. We also would have been able to immediately identify the actors they allege to have caused them harm. Unfortunately, we are only hearing about their injuries through the complaint they filed in court.

As soon as we found out about the allegations, we acted. We launched an investigation and fired the people assigned to the rooms where the alleged criminal acts occurred. We also fired the operator who was in charge of the hiring and training of the actors, and we added security staff and monitoring systems. We did everything we could with the information we had at the time.

As this is now a matter of litigation, this is all we are going to say about this situation."

According to court documents, the couple paid for the first three haunted houses, but decided against the fourth one, which requires an extra $30 and a signed waiver.  While in the first house, an employee repeatedly told the woman to, "get on all fours" and pushed her into a plywood wall, the complaint said.  In the second house, a worker forced the man onto a bed and thrusted against him, the suit said. The couple said the employee stated, "I'm going to rape him."

The park opted to close Akron Fright Fest and Kidtober Fest on October 25, citing "current circumstances and family matters."

Continuing coverage of this story here

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