A young woman from Saratoga County, New York is suing the Motel 6 hotel chain for allegedly enabling sex trafficking at various locations around the country, including a site in Colonie New York.
According to the federal sex trafficking lawsuit, the anonymous young woman met her trafficker at the Motel 6 on Central Avenue in 2012, and was led to believe that he was younger than his actual age and interested in a romantic relationship. Eventually, the trafficker and his sister got the girl hooked on drugs to keep her compliant.
Over the next six years, she was forced to meet with men daily at the Colonie Motel 6, as well as other hotels in the New York region, at a rate of about $150 an hour. If she failed to comply, she would be beaten.
During that time, she regularly checked into the Motel 6 with her trafficker, but he never accompanied her to their room. She was, however, frequently accompanied by other guests, never had any luggage, and was constantly covered in bruises – all red flags for sex trafficking
She is suing G6 Hospitality – the company that owns Motel 6 – in accordance with the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008.
“Defendant G6 Hospitality has been on notice of repeated incidences of sex trafficking occurring at their Motel 6 hotels yet it failed to take the necessary action to prevent sex trafficking and still persist(s) in failing to take the necessary action to prevent sex trafficking at its hotels,” the complaint states.
New York State ranks fifth in the nation for sex trafficking.
While the Colonie police never received a criminal complaint about this young woman’s specific case, the Motel 6 on Central apparently has a long history of police activity. In fact, the plaintiff’s trafficker was arrested there in 2015 for abusing another victim.
“That specific location has been the site of 187 police calls this year,” Colonie Police Department Lieutenant Rob Winn told Spectrum News.
“Our ultimate goal here always is to look out for our victims, and we do view them as victims,” he continued. “We will do everything in our power to eradicate or investigate these cases.”
Sex trafficking involves the use of force, coercion, or fraud to force an individual to engage in a commercial sex act, including prostitution, pornography, or sexual performance, against their will. Under federal law, anyone who sells a minor under the age of 18 for sex is engaging in sex trafficking, regardless of the minor’s consent.
According to the Polaris Project, 92% of the calls received by the National Human Trafficking hotline between December 2007 and February 2015 involved reports of sex trafficking taking place at hotels.
Hotels have also accounted for 90% of sex trafficking involving children.