Hotel Chains Named in Sex Trafficking Lawsuit
Three national hotel chains are being named in a civil suit alleging that the hotels aided and abetted sex trafficking on their premises. These include hotels in northern Texas.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a plaintiff known only as F.M. She alleges that she was sexually exploited at several north Texas hotels. The abuse, she says, began when she was only four years old. The plaintiff is now in her 20s.
The lawsuit filed in Houston names Best Western, Hyatt, and Red Lion hotels. It alleges that the companies ignored obvious criminal activity and allowed sex traffickers to use their property to facilitate the molestation of children and women.
Is a Hotel Responsible for Criminal Activity on Their Premises?
All proprietors, including hotels, have a duty to protect their guests from certain threats. When their property is used to facilitate sex trafficking, the women and children who were assaulted on their premises can file a lawsuit against the hotel for allowing the sexual abuse to occur there. But the question of liability is more complicated than simply establishing where the abuse occurred.
In this case, the plaintiff will need to show that hotel staff either knew or should have known what was happening within the walls of their hotel. That is precisely what this lawsuit is alleging. Additionally, the suit alleges that these hotels profited from the sex trafficking industry and sex slavery. The lawsuit seeks to hold the hotels accountable for playing a pivotal role in the sexual exploitation of children.
Best Western Responds
Predictably, Best Western outwardly condemned sex trafficking and noted that their employees are given resource material on sex trafficking to prevent it from happening in their hotels. They also noted that they are a franchise, and as a franchise, every Best Western hotel is independently owned and operated.
Authorities say that more than 60% of sex trafficking occurs in hotels and eight out of every ten arrests occur in hotels.
The Victim’s Story
The victim alleges that she was drugged and raped for years after being sold into the sex trade industry at the age of four by her father who had a severe drug addiction problem. She recalls being given drugs herself, some kind of pills probably to sedate her, and being taken blindfolded by van from one hotel to another. A bellboy would be waiting for them and they would be taken to assigned rooms where abusers could pay to sexually abuse them. They would tie her to the bed to prevent her from running away.
Today, nationwide campaigns exist to raise awareness of sex trafficking and the signs of the sexual exploitation of children. However, these hotels should be held responsible for allowing this to go on for as long as it has.
Talk to a Houston Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured on-premises, the Houston assault & negligent security attorneys at Livingston & Flowers, P.L.L.C. can help you recover damages related to your injuries. Call us today for a free consultation.