Sad woman sitting alone, woman on the bed, stress, human trafficking

Hotels and Motels Can Face Civil Consequences of Sex Trafficking

Sadly, human trafficking, also referred to as modern day slavery, is not something of the past. It continues to plague our society. Human trafficking occurs when someone is intentionally transported, coerced, and/or forced into a type of work or service. This is usually either forced labor or sexual exploitation. The latter is referred to as sex trafficking. Not only can those who traffic the individual be held liable, but so too can hotels, businesses, and other entities that turn a blind eye in order to profit. 

Unfortunately, Houston, Texas is something of a human trafficking hub, often due to criminals trafficking minors in and out of the country through the Mexico-Texas border. There are thousands of victims in Texas alone. 

Who Can Be Held Liable?

Virtually anyone who has a hand in sex trafficking can be held legally liable. Texas has its own laws governing this. Under Texas law, this includes not only the individuals and entities that promote sex trafficking, but also anyone else who procures a service or monetary benefit as a result of the trafficking. This opens liability to a variety of potential defendants, including:

  • Pimps and “Johns” involved in the trafficking;
  • Websites that knowingly facilitate trafficking (including dating sites and personal ads);
  • Newspapers, magazines, and other media that facilitate trafficking;
  • Transportation or travel services that take people places for the purpose of trafficking; and
  • Hotels, motels, and businesses that profit from the room rentals used for sex trafficking.

The law is viewed broadly so as to provide the most amount of protection. 

Proving Liability of Hotels and Motels

An individual or entity is liable for sex trafficking when they were aware and either actively involved or ignored that it existed and benefited. For instance, a pimp would be an active participant while a motel that was aware what was going on in its rooms pretended not to know while benefitting monetarily from its rentals. 

The most difficult aspect of this is proving that there was knowledge of what was going on. Unless a person or entity comes out and admits to having known, there are certain things that lawyers will look for. For a hotel or motel these might include:

  • Whether anyone from the hotel or motel asked for and checked identification;
  • Whether the location regularly rented to one individual who brought back multiple people during different times;
  • Whether the victim was a minor and the hotel or motel should have been suspicious;
  • Whether there were previous complaints about the hotel or motel being involved in sex trafficking;

The Attorneys at Rochelle McCullough Help Those in Houston Who Have Been Trafficked at a Hotel or Motel

The lawyers at Rochelle McCullough help victims of sex trafficking to get their lives back on track by holding civilly liable any hotels, motels, and establishments that helped to facilitate this illegal behavior. While nothing can change what you have endured, there should be accountability. You may be entitled to compensation. That’s why it’s in your best interest to speak with a lawyer as quickly as possible to protect your rights.