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Leslie York, before and after her ordeal in a Tulum hotel. Leslie York, before and after her ordeal in Tulum.

Mexico City man arrested after Canadian woman beaten in her Tulum hotel

Leslie York underwent nine hours of reconstructive surgery in Cancún

A Canadian woman’s trip to paradise turned into a nightmare when she was attacked in her hotel room last week in Tulum.

Lexie York of Ottawa, Ontario, was beaten so badly while staying at Tulum’s Grand Bahia Principe resort that she required over nine hours of reconstructive surgery.

York, 29, arrived alone on November 10, planning to meet her mother there the next day.

Around midnight, York left her room to get something to eat. She met two couples also staying at the resort and remained with them in the restaurant until around 3:00am.

After she returned to her room, she heard a knock on her door. It was one of the men she had met at dinner, who authorities have since identified as Ricardo S.P., a 34-year-old chauffeur from Mexico City who was staying at the hotel with his wife.

Suspect in the beating of a Canadian woman in Tulum.
Suspect in the beating of a Canadian woman in Tulum.

Through a translation app, he told York that his wife had heard screams coming from her room, and he had come to check on her.

She told him she was OK, but the man forced his way into her room and attacked her. She tried to scream, but he choked her and beat her in the face with his fist.

York lost consciousness during the attack and awoke with her eyes swollen shut. She managed to feel her way out of the room to seek help.

York was first taken to a private hospital in Playa del Carmen and later transferred to a hospital in Cancún. Local media reported she had been sexually assaulted as well as beaten.

Her mother arrived on November 11, and her brother Matthew York joined them the next day.

“She had nine hours of plastic surgery. She has nerve damage in her face. The swelling is kind of going down now, but at the time it was quite bad,” he told CBC News.

Lexie York remained in Cancún as of Monday, recovering from her injuries and it was not clear when she would be well enough to travel.

“Every time she lifts her head up she gets dizzy,” her brother said.

A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said the family is being provided consular services and that Canadian officials are working with Mexican authorities to resolve the case.

The Quintana Roo Attorney General’s Office said Ricardo S.P. had been arrested connection with the attack.

The Grand Bahia Principe resort issued a statement in response to the attack.

“As soon as the hotel was informed of the incident, staff immediately activated our internal security protocol, including providing urgent medical assistance and alerting the local authorities. We wish Ms. York a speedy recovery and hope that the authorities get to the bottom of this incident as soon as possible.”

Sources: CBC News (en), Mega News (sp)

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