Woman Forced Into Child Prostitution Files Lawsuit Over Sex Trafficking At Major Hotel Chains

According to allegations raised in a recently filed lawsuit, a sex trafficking survivor indicates that she was forced into sexual slavery as a minor and repeatedly assaulted at Days Inn, Super 8 and Clarion Inn hotels in Washington state, due to policies in place at the major chains.

The complaint (PDF) was filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, by a plaintiff identified only by the initials “A.T.”, who indicates she was openly trafficked for commercial sex transactions as a minor.

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc. owns the Super 8 and Days Inn hotel chains, while the Clarion Inn hotel chain is owned by Choice Hotels International, Inc., who were each named as defendants in the lawsuit, which alleges the companies knew sex trafficking was occurring at their hotel properties, including children forced into sexual slavery. However, rather than taking steps to stop the activity, the operators chose to continue to profit from the human sex trafficking trade that occurs at hotels nationwide.

According to the sex trafficking lawsuit, A.T. indicates she was first forced into the sex trade at the hotels in 2012, when she was only 15 years old.

“During this time, Plaintiff A.T. was forced to perform commercial sex acts on up to 20 men a day. Over the multiple months Plaintiff A.T. was trafficked, she was raped hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of times for the profit of her pimp and to the benefit of Defendants Wyndham and Choice,” the lawsuit states. “Day after day, a procession of adult men would enter minor Plaintiff A.T.’s room, stay for 15 minutes to an hour on average, and then leave.”

The lawsuit notes that her traffickers had a “personal relationship” with the front desk employee at the Super 8 Kennewick, who gave the traffickers the same room over and over again, near the staircase.

In one instance, she was violently raped, leaving the sheets bloodied, which cleaning staff came in and changed. In another, one of the men who paid to have sex with A.T. became hostile when she told him to leave, yelling and screaming profanities outside of her room. At that point, the manager of Super 8 Kennewick told her she knew what was happening and threatened to kick her out, the lawsuit claims. However, the manager still allowed her to be raped hundreds of additional times over the course of another four weeks.

In yet another instance, at the Days Inn Kennewick, A.T. indicates her pimp forced her suddenly out of the hotel, leaving all of her belongings behind. When she returned several days later, the front desk had her belongings in a duffle bag behind the counter, which included adult lingerie and a large supply of condoms.

“The Defendant Hotels all had the opportunity to stop A.T.’s trafficker and offenders like him from victimizing A.T. and others like her,” A.T.’s lawsuit states. “Instead, every Defendant failed to take reasonable measures to stop sex trafficking from occurring in their hotels.”

Hotel Sex Trafficking Lawsuits

In recent months, about two dozen nearly identical claims have been brought against the operators of Hilton, Marriott, Wyndham, Best Western, Red Roof Inn and other popular hotel chains, alleging that the desire for profits has been placed before human misery in facilities nationwide, by failing to enact standards and procedures that would have prevented sex traffickers from openly using their rooms, often involving minor children.

Given similar questions of fact and law presented in lawsuits filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, a motion was filed last month that seeks to centralize the hotel sex trafficking lawsuits as part of a federal MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

In a hearing order (PDF) issued on December 19, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation scheduled oral arguments on the motion for January 30, at the Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse in Tampa, Florida.

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