Mar 29, 2016

Dead toddler's estate suing hotel in Gwinnett cult starving case

Tyler Estep
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 28, 2016

The estate of Alcenti McIntosh, the 15-month-old girl allegedly starved to death by a cult member in 2014, is suing the Gwinnett County hotel where her abuse is said to have taken place.

The hotel "knew, or through the exercise of reasonable care should've known" that the girl was in danger, the suit filed last week in Gwinnett County State Court alleges.

On Nov. 11, 2014, 44-year-old Calvin McIntosh took Alcenti to Northside Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival. Her death -- and emaciated, 7.5-pound frame -- triggered an investigation that led Gwinnett County police to the Extended Stay America at 7065 Jimmy Carter Blvd. in Peachtree Corners.

Inside they found Alcenti's mother, Iasia Sweeting. Twenty-one years old, she weighed just 59 pounds. Three other emaciated children, ages 3 through 5, were also inside the room, as well as McIntosh's daughter, Najlaa -- who bore two of the children for her father.

Gwinnett County police believe Calvin McIntosh, an alleged member of a cult called the Nuwabian Nation of Moors, kept them all locked inside the room and had ordered Najlaa to withhold food from the others as punishment.

Alcenti's cause of death was ruled starvation. Sweeting and the other children survived.

Calvin and Najlaa McIntosh were arrested on charges including multiple counts of murder and child cruelty. Calvin McIntosh was also charged with several counts of rape, sodomy and incest. Both have been indicted and are awaiting trial. No dates have been set, Assistant District Attorney Rich Vandever said Monday.

The lawsuit filed Thursday names Extended Stay America, three partner companies, five "John Doe" staff members and Calvin McIntosh as defendants. It accuses the hotel of negligence, saying it should have been able to prevent -- or at least stop -- what was taking place.

"Decedent Alcenti McIntosh was born in a hotel room at the Premises in or about August 2013," the suit, which asks for a jury trial and unspecified monetary damages, says. "She was confined in a hotel room at the Premises for her entire life with at least six other people."

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