A 29-year-old female tourist from Australia and her friends received the key to the house she rented on Airbnb from the owner of a nearby shop. However, the shopkeeper named Junior Lee had already made a copy of the key and entered the house and hid in the bathroom.
The tourist and her friends went home shortly after midnight. Lee pulled a knife and raped the Australian woman. Following the complaint, the Airbnb safety team contacted the local police force.
Lee was caught and has been charged with predatory sexual assault. His litigation process continues and life imprisonment is requested, he denied the charges in court.
Bloomberg wrote that two years after the events, Airbnb and the tourist reached an agreement, that the tourist was paid but stipulated that he would not sue the host or company.
Airbnb spokesperson Ben Breit said, “In such cases after we reach an agreement, victims can tell their lives as they please. We do not apply any pressure on this matter. We do not make a condition when making the payment.”
The company suggested a nationwide registration system for short-term let operators, who would be required to obtain a registration number from the government or a devolved authority in order to list their homes on platforms, such as Airbnb.
Airbnb said the move would “empower local authorities to notify platforms about issues with listings in their area” and also enable platforms to “remove bad actors” by preventing people from getting around the rules by switching their listing to another booking site.