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01/31/2020

Wyndham, Super 8, Motel 6 Hit with Child Sex Trafficking Lawsuit

Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
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The National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, seeking damages against Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc., Choice Hotels International, Inc. and G6 Hospitality, LLC., for facilitating and profiting from the sex trafficking of a minor. The plaintiff, B.M., was 16 years old when her trafficking began at the Defendant hotels in 2014 and lasted for years.

Benjamin Bull, general counsel for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, alleges that the hotels listed in the lawsuit willingly ignored signs of the plaintiff’s abuse and in doing so, knowingly collaborated with her traffickers. Bull mentions warning signs such as: large amounts of used condoms, empty lube bottles and other sex-related items, payments for the room in cash, a continuous procession of older men entering and leaving the room, and excessive requests for sheets, cleaning supplies and room service.

“The Defendant hotels failed to take any steps to alert the authorities, properly intervene in the situation, or take reasonable security steps to improve awareness of sex trafficking and/or prevent sexual exploitation on their properties,” Bull said. “Our hope is that this lawsuit serves notice to prevent any future sex trafficking from taking place at these hotels and others, and to ensure that the hotel industry is held to account.”

HT-NEXT 2020, an event produced by Hospitality Technology magazine in partnership with HTNG, will be hosting a breakout session titled: “Safety & Security: Tech for Safety’s Sake.” During this session, a panel of hoteliers will gather to discuss how they can better implement technology and staff training to prevent security incidents – such as human trafficking – from occurring at their properties. Technology is now powerful enough that when leveraged properly can help predict, prevent and even mitigate safety and security disasters. On the table for discussion: telecommunications (the problem with 911 in multi-line buildings), fire & safety systems, bomb "sniffing" robots, active shooter preparedness, facial recognition, AI and more.