An employee of a downtown Austin hotel is accused of making a duplicate room key before attempting to fondle a guest while she slept in the hotel Saturday night, court documents say.
Valerio Utrera, who worked at an Extended Stay America, faces a charge of burglary with intent to commit a felony (sexual assault) and burglary of a habitation.
According to police, five women checked into the hotel on Saturday night and had four room keys made around 5 p.m. One of the women later told police that she didn’t have a key made because she had intended to accompany at least one of her friends who had a key at all times.
But the hotel manager showed police that a fifth key was made shortly after 3:45 a.m. Sunday, the affidavit said.
According to police, video footage recorded from inside the hotel lobby shows Utrera around 3:40 a.m. reaching over the counter to the hotel’s “key-making machine” and using the device for a few minutes.
Earlier that night, after the five women came back to the room and went to sleep, the affidavit said, one woman said she felt a hand repeatedly feeling up her leg, once moving toward her genitals and once touching her breast and she shoved it away each time. She then saw a cell phone light and the door to room open, she told police.
The five women also discovered that one of their cellphones was missing and, knowing no one else had a key, the five went to the hotel staff and police were called to the scene.
One of the women confronted Utrera, who denied any wrongdoing. She said in the affidavit that Utrera left the hotel once police were called.
When an officer later visited Utrera at his home, a hotel key was found in one of his pockets, police said. The officer had intended to see if the key worked on the women’s room, but the hotel manager had already deactivated the fifth key.
Utrera denied taking any property, the affidavit said.
Utrera was in Travis County Jail on Tuesday with bail set at $60,000 and $30,000 for two burglary charges and bail set at a total of $6,000 for two charges of marijuana possession, jail records show.
The judge who set the terms of his release also has prohibited Utrera from coming within 200 yards of the hotel.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.