SEVERE WX : Frost Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Woman sues major hotel chains alleging they failed to stop sex trafficking at their properties

Article Image

Human trafficking happens behind locked doors in hotels across the United States. The hospitality industry is being taught to recognize the signs of abuse.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 3:49 AM
Updated: Dec 11, 2019 2:44 PM


A woman who says she was the victim of sex trafficking in 2012 and 2013 at multiple hotels in Oregon and Washington is suing six major hotel chains in federal court, saying they neglected trafficking happening 'openly on hotel properties' and failed to intervene 'to continue earning a profit.'

'Rather than taking timely and effective measures to thwart this epidemic,' the suit said, 'defendant hotels have instead chosen to ignore the open and obvious presence of sex trafficking on their properties, enjoying the profit from rooms rented for this explicit and apparent purpose.'

The suit, filed Monday in US District Court in Portland, names Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc., Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Choice Hotels Corp., Extended Stay America and Red Lion Hotels Corp., as defendants.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings said the hotel property where the suit alleges the trafficking took place is independently owned and operated, but issued a statement saying, 'Hilton condemns all forms of human trafficking, including for sexual exploitation. As signatories of the ECPAT [formerly End Child Prostitution and Trafficking] Code since 2011, we are fully committed, in each and every one of our markets, to protecting individuals from all forms of abuse and exploitation.'

'We condemn human trafficking in any form,' Wyndham Hotels & Resorts said in a statement. 'Through our partnerships with the International Tourism Partnership, ECPAT-USA, Polaris Project and other organizations that share the same values, we have worked to enhance our policies condemning human trafficking while also providing training to help our team members, as well as the hotels we manage, identify and report trafficking activities.'

Extended Stay America also condemned human trafficking in a statement to CNN.

'We require all our associates to be trained on identifying the signs of human trafficking and on how to report them,' the statement said.

Marriott International issued a statement saying, 'While we are not commenting on the specifics of the litigation, Marriott International is working to help combat the horrific crime of human trafficking in hotels. Marriott International developed training in partnership with leading human rights organizations to teach its hotel workers to recognize the signs of human trafficking and how to respond. The company made the training mandatory for all its hotel workers in 2017; to date, more than 700,000 employees have completed the training.'

A statement from Choice Hotels said, 'Choice Hotels condemns human trafficking and, as a signatory of ECPAT's Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct, we are committed to working with our independently owned and operated franchised hotels to combat this violation of human rights. We provide resources and training to management and employees of our franchised hotels, including from the Department of Homeland Security and ECPAT, to help educate and arm them with the tools they need to help identify and stop human trafficking.'

Red Lion Hotels Corp. could not immediately be reached for comment.

'Hotel employees are making a difference each and every day by identifying and reporting instances of human trafficking,' said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association trade group. 'We know there's always more that can be done and we are committed to doing whatever is needed to end human trafficking.'

The woman bringing the suit is identified as A.B. in the suit and was trafficked for commercial sex at the age of 22 in Oregon and Washington, the suit says.

'A.B. was subject to repeated instances of rape, physical abuse, verbal abuse, exploitation, psychological torment, and false imprisonment at the Defendants' hotels from September 2012 to March 2013,' the suit alleges.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 8656

Reported Deaths: 207
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah220269
Marion151446
Washington133120
Clackamas73324
Umatilla4924
Union3371
Lincoln3122
Deschutes1810
Lane1513
Linn1449
Polk14112
Klamath1190
Yamhill1198
Jackson1140
Jefferson1120
Malheur1081
Hood River880
Benton825
Wasco691
Morrow611
Clatsop480
Coos410
Douglas400
Josephine331
Columbia290
Lake170
Crook100
Tillamook90
Wallowa80
Curry70
Baker10
Grant10
Harney10
Sherman10
Gilliam00
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 231232

Reported Deaths: 6082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1038503371
Riverside17296457
San Diego14149365
Orange13843340
San Bernardino12550253
Imperial624293
Alameda5964135
Fresno481172
Kern465570
Santa Clara4370156
Tulare4156126
San Joaquin385652
San Francisco360350
San Mateo3232108
Sacramento322368
Contra Costa313276
Santa Barbara289629
Ventura274045
Kings239429
Marin221018
Stanislaus216542
Monterey164215
Sonoma11367
Solano112624
Merced97911
Placer68411
San Luis Obispo6111
Yolo50524
Madera4885
Santa Cruz3793
Napa3174
Lassen2290
San Benito2132
El Dorado1780
Sutter1763
Butte1682
Humboldt1334
Nevada1131
Shasta1124
Glenn1030
Mendocino780
Tehama751
Yuba711
Lake600
Del Norte501
Colusa460
Mono421
Calaveras320
Inyo311
Siskiyou280
Tuolumne280
Mariposa261
Amador220
Plumas90
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 54°
Brookings
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 56°
Crater Lake
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 42°
Grants Pass
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 57°
Klamath Falls
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 42°
Cool nights and warm days this week
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events