Bally’s Atlantic City Housekeeper Attacker Convicted, Case Spurred Panic Button Bill

Posted on: April 1, 2022, 03:23h. 

Last updated on: April 1, 2022, 12:38h.

A Saugerties, NY man who sexually assaulted a housekeeper at Bally’s Atlantic City is facing a possible life sentence, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office says.

Jamel Carlton
Jamel Carlton’s sexual assault of a Bally’s housekeeper in 2018 propelled New Jersey’s panic button mandate towards enactment. (Image:

On Thursday, a jury found 36-year-old Jamel Carlton guilty of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, burglary, aggravated assault, and criminal restraint in relation to the 2018 attack in a hotel room at the property.

Carlton had also been picked up by police for assaulting his girlfriend at the casino earlier the same day.

The case, and others like it, hastened the enactment of legislation a year later that mandated wearable panic buttons for New Jersey hotel workers.

Double Attack

Carlton was initially arrested at around 5:30 am on February 10, 2018, for domestic assault. That’s after Bally’s security officers had to restrain him from attacking his 41-year-old girlfriend.

The woman bore signs of physical injury and was treated at the scene by medical personnel, according to the arrest report.

Carlton was charged with simple assault and released at about 9 am with a summons to appear in court at a later date. But somehow, he was allowed to return to the hotel. There, he pushed a 51-year-old housekeeper into a room, where he sexually and physically assaulted her, according to court filings.

The victim was treated in a local hospital for her injuries. But she was traumatized and unable to return to work, according to a colleague, who was interviewed in 2019 by The Press of Atlantic City.

Security video at the casino helped investigators identify Carlton as a suspect. He was spotted by police officers walking along Atlantic Avenue at 1:44 pm, and an arrest was attempted. But Carlton fled, leading police on a several blocks chase before he was eventually taken into custody.

Criminal History

The Prosecutor’s Office said Carton faces an “extended term of imprisonment, up to life in New Jersey State Prison” because of his criminal history, including robbery and armed burglary of a restaurant. He will be sentenced in June.

We are grateful to the jury for seeing this case for what it was, the senseless and brutal sexual assault of a Bally’s housekeeper who was just doing her job,” Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Flammer said. “The victim, through the support of her loving family, displayed an enormous amount of strength in coming to court to tell the jury what that man did to her.”

New Jersey was the first state to enact a panic button mandate, which applies to hotels with more than 100 rooms. Shortly after Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill into law, Ben Albert, an official with Local 54 of the Unite-Here union, told NBC that housekeepers had become “enraged” by Carlton’s crime and demanded action.