N.J. woman sues after rest area attack

By Cara Bailey | Feb 9, 2007

MARTINSBURG - A New Jersey woman says she was attacked and nearly raped by a rest area maintenance worker near Martinsburg.

The unnamed woman filed the suit Jan. 26 in Berkeley Circuit Court, naming Job Squad Inc., The West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities Inc., The West Virginia Department of Transportation, The West Virginia Department of Commerce and Christopher Godsey as defendants.

The woman claims she was attacked by Godsey, an employee of Job Squad, an nonprofit organization. Godsey was employed to clean and maintain the Welcome Center on Interstate 81 near Martinsburg.

On Jan. 28, 2005, the woman stopped at the rest area and entered the women's restroom, and Godsey followed.

"Godsey assaulted, harmed and attempted to rape Jane Doe against her will," the suit says. "While attempting to rape her, Godsey had a box-cutter device."

The woman escaped from Godsey, but suffered mental, emotional and physical damage, some of which were permanent.

She claims the defendants were negligent. The suit says the Division of Tourism should have known allowing unscreened, dangerous people, such as Godsey, to work at the rest stop could lead to harm of the stopping motorists. The suit also claims there was a failure by the Division of Tourism to provide the necessary safety steps to protect the rest area visitors.

The woman, whose name was sealed to protect her identity, seeks joint and several compensatory damages, including interest and court costs.

She is being represented by Andrew Skinner of the law firm Nichols and Skinner, and the case has been assigned to Judge Gray Silver III.

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