Latest News

06-23 Sex-Trafficking Victim Can Proceed with Case Against Marriott, Franchisee, Judge Rules

Although a sex trafficking victim can’t prove Marriott and its franchisee had an established business relationship with her trafficker, she can proceed with arguments that hotel staff should have done more to intervene, a federal judge ruled.

Hotel chain Marriott International and a local California franchisee must face claims they were complicit in sex trafficking because neither party did enough to intervene and help a woman who showed signs of being trafficked, a federal judge ruled.

In a complaint filed last August in federal court in California, an anonymous woman said her traffickers shuttled her between various chain hotels in Sacramento and the Bay Area. She brought claims against several hotel companies, including Marriott and a franchisee, over what she said were violations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

The victim said her traffickers chose hotels where they could pay in cash or prepaid cards and knew the staff. Her complaint also named other companies, including Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.

The victim said there were obvious signs of sex trafficking that should have set off alarm bells for staff. Men who were not guests at the hotels came in and out at odd hours, she said, while she often appeared undressed, malnourished, sleep-deprived and bruised.

In addition, the victim said, her trafficker screamed at her in hotel rooms and physically assaulted her in public areas. She said staff were aware of these red flags and others, including evidence of illegal drug use, and yet did not report the suspicious activity to police.

Read more here.

lynnswarriors06-23 Sex-Trafficking Victim Can Proceed with Case Against Marriott, Franchisee, Judge Rules