Trafficking survivor sues Motel 6 for turning blind eye, facilitating repeated rapes when she was a teen
SPRING, TX - A trafficking survivor is now suing Motel 6 for allegedly helping facilitate repeated drug and sexual abuse when she was an underaged girl.
Her attorney, Annie McAdams, filed the lawsuit in Harris County Tuesday.
Using the state law, Chapter 98, the civil litigator is suing Motel 6 for helping facilitate the repeated violent abuse of her client, referred to in a lawsuit only as Jane Doe A.A.
"The only way we are ever going to beat sex trafficking is if we actually look past just the John and the seller. We have to look past that. We have to look at these other entities and companies that are enabling it, facilitating it, benefiting from it," McAdams said.
From 2015 to 2016, Doe was moved around to various locations including Motel 6, located on the 19600 block of Cypresswood in Spring, records say.
"She was a high school student, successful, great family, good support. She was recruited from a kid in her high school who introduced her to his older brother, or what was alleged to be his older brother," McAdams said.
According to court documents, Doe was "kept heavily drugged and was not allowed to move freely without her trafficker. Housekeeping was suspended and a discount room rate was offered in exchange for sex with an employee of Motel 6, believed to have been a manager."
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Records also say "an average of ten men per day would pay her trafficker for the opportunity to rape Jane Doe. She was repeatedly, beaten, raped and drugged" and that her trafficker "frequently used Motel 6 in Spring because 'he knew that members of the staff looked the other way, despite the obvious signs of sex trafficking.'"
McAdams says the Motel 6 on Cypresswood in Spring, where the alleged trafficking happened, has a lengthy history of run-ins with the law.
"I have screened now thousands of these potential cases. One hospitality company just continues to repeatedly show up and that was Motel 6. Motel 6 and the parent company, G6, has a storied history of trafficking problems; that’s evidenced by our own Harris County Attorney filing suit against them," McAdams said.
In 2017, the Harris County Attorney's Office filed a nuisance lawsuit against the motel, requiring the location to increase its security and surveillance.
"To ward off that type of crime, protect the people coming to stay there and to not being a hot bed for human trafficking and other types of crimes. They had to institute a camera and surveillance system. They had to have on weekends, at their own expense, two law enforcement officers on site and during the week, a security on site. They were prohibited from charging hourly rates to rooms," said Christian D. Menefee, the Harris County Attorney.
"Nuisance lawsuits go after businesses to get them to do the right thing, protect their patrons, local residents and the people in their communities from these facilities being hotbeds for crimes," Menefee continued.
Two years later, in 2019, that same motel burned down, but McAdams says the case doesn’t end there. The parent company, G6, will still be held liable.
McAdams believes this case is just one part of a larger crisis.
Previously, McAdams has championed similar trafficking cases against other major companies, like Facebook.
"We filed the first cases against Facebook back in 2018. We were successful through trial courts. We were successful in the appellate courts. We are now waiting a decision from the Texas Supreme Court," McAdams said.
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In a statement from Motel 6, a spokesperson said, "We condemn all forms of human trafficking. Trafficking violates basic human rights and represents a global societal issue that multiple stakeholders must partner and work together to eradicate. Motel 6 takes a proactive, zero-tolerance stance on human trafficking. There is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of our guests, our employees, and the communities in which we operate."
Court documents explain that Doe eventually managed to escape by running up to a police officer at a gas station to report her situation. She plans on testifying in court against her trafficker.