Plano Woman Says TripAdvisor Shielded Report of Rape at Mexican Resort

TripAdvisor says it will now place icons on its website to let users know if there's been a safety issue reported at a particular hotel

For seven years a Plano woman says she's been trying to share her allegations of rape by an employee at a popular Mexican resort.

Her reviews of Iberostar's Parsiso Maya were pulled from the travel review website TripAdvisor, but now the company says that was a mistake.

TripAdvisor says it will now place icons on its website to let users know if there's been a safety issue reported at a particular hotel.

Plano mother Kristie Love fought to share her story, and she says the fight is far from over.

Love said she made the trip to that resort near Cancun many times. But on her last trip the room key wouldn't open her hotel door, so she approached a security guard for help.

She said the guard then pulled her in the bushes and attacked her.

Love said the resort wouldn't call the police — something they deny.

A spokesperson for Iberostar told NBC 5:

"The hotel offered her medical assistance as well as recommended she file a complaint with the police. Ms. Love refused both and indicated that she wanted to meet with American Embassy staff. Iberostar staff contacted the U.S. consulate at the time and offered to transfer her to another hotel if she wished. Ms. Love chose not to file a complaint, nor did she provide information that would have permitted further pursuit of the matter."

Love told her story on TripAdvisor, hoping to tell others about her experience.

The travel review website deleted the review, saying it didn't follow their family-friendly guidelines.

"It may not have gone the way I wanted legally to protect others, but I never thought telling my story about rape would be deleted for not following family-friendly guidelines," Love said.

An investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found dozens of other travelers reporting rejected posts containing allegations of tainted alcohol, blackouts and even rape.

"I think consumers are starting to understand that reviews can be manipulated on these sites, and I think the level of trust is decreasing slowly," said Pauline Frommer, a travel expert.

TripAdvisor changed its policy and posted Love's review. Now it says it will add a badge letting you know if the hotel you're looking at has been the location of a sexual assault or major concern, for up to three months.

Love found the time limit insulting.

"People can take what they want, discard what they want, but we are all privy and we deserve the truth," she said.

A spokeswoman for TripAdvisor told NBC 5:

"Our new badges are intended for instances in which news reports bring new health, safety or discrimination information to light that may not be present in traveler reviews or forum posts."

She added, "A few years ago, we updated that policy to allow more descriptive reviews and content about first-hand account of serious incidents like rape or assault on our site. We recognized then that our previous guidelines went too far in preventing information like this from being shared."

"No hotel can 'bid' for higher placement within our rankings. None of our ranking positions are for sale," the spokeswoman said.

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