Conshohocken man charged with molestation on trip

Daniel T. Hughes , a sales manager, arrested in Mo.
Daniel T. Hughes , a sales manager, arrested in Mo.
Posted: March 09, 2011

A Conshohocken man was arrested in Clayton, Mo., on Sunday after police say he went to the wrong hotel room, broke through a chain lock, and molested a 9-year-old girl inside.

Daniel T. Hughes, 42, a sales manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, was intoxicated when he returned to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel around 4 a.m. Sunday, Clayton Police Chief Tom Byrne said. A clerk at the front desk issued him a key without checking the room number, police said.

Hughes is charged with sodomy and three counts of child molestation. He was being held in lieu of $250,000 cash bail at the St. Louis County Justice Center on Tuesday.

Hughes could face a minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted of the sodomy charge alone, Byrne said.

Hughes had just finished a three-day training seminar and was staying at a nearby Sheraton hotel, but he and a colleague decided to stay another night at the Ritz-Carlton, Byrne said.

Hughes stayed out later than his coworker, and when he returned to the hotel, he tried to get into a room on the sixth floor, where he had been staying at the Sheraton. But his room at the Ritz-Carlton was on the eighth floor, Byrne said.

Hughes asked for a new key at the front desk, and the clerk issued him one without checking whether the room number was correct, police said.

The two-room suite was occupied by a St. Louis family, and Hughes entered the room where three girls slept: the 9-year-old, her 14-year-old sister, and another 14-year-old, police said.

Hughes unlocked the door, kicked the door open when the chain lock caught, and crawled into bed with the 9-year-old, Byrne said. The other girls did not wake up while Hughes allegedly assaulted the youngest girl.

The 9-year-old eventually alerted her parents, who called police about 4:40 a.m.

"He was captured in the lobby in just his underwear," Byrne said.

Hughes has been suspended from his job at Enterprise, said Christy Conrad, a company spokeswoman.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the hotel clerk who gave Hughes the key had resigned, but a hotel spokesman declined to confirm this Tuesday, citing privacy policies in personnel matters.


Contact staff writer Joelle Farrell at 610-627-0352 or at jfarrell@phillynews.com.

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