weather icon Windy

Las Vegas hotel staff didn’t intervene in minor’s sex trafficking, suit alleges

Employees at a franchise hotel in suburban Las Vegas and an off-Strip hotel-casino failed to intervene in a woman’s sex trafficking, a new civil lawsuit filed in the Clark County District Court alleges.

The complaint alleges a teen fell under the control of a sex trafficker beginning in mid-2019 when she was 16. The plaintiff, who is given a pseudonym in the complaint because of the case’s sensitive nature, was regularly coerced into sex work, most commonly at the Hampton Inn Las Vegas/Summerlin, in northwest Las Vegas, and often with the same man multiple times a week.

It alleges the front desk and security staff saw the girl and man arrive and depart around the same time, and should have understood what was happening based on other clues like her age, clothing, failing health and frequent visits.

“In fact, the staff did appear to notice her—to the point that Sarah texted her traffickers about the receptionist staring at her, and how scared it made her,” the plaintiff’s attorneys allege in the complaint. “Yet, at no point during Sarah’s year of suffering did any Hampton Inn employee even ask Sarah what she was doing there.”

Attorneys Michael Kane, Bradley Myers and Joel Hengstler of The 702 Firm represent the plaintiff in the suit filed on Monday. The defendants have not yet been served, court records show.

“We believe the Nevada Legislature addressed an important societal issue by enacting laws against human trafficking,” Kane said in an emailed statement that referenced Nevada laws that allow human trafficking victims to bring civil action against people and hotels that benefit from the alleged sex abuse. “We aim to ensure these laws are faithfully carried out.”

A Hampton Inn manager was not aware of the suit and did not respond to further comment requests once the Review-Journal shared the complaint.

The suit also describes a trafficking incident where the plaintiff and two others were invited to do a “photoshoot” with men she met at a concert. When they arrived at a room in the Palms, the men tried to convince the girls to make a pornographic film. The plaintiff’s friends ran away and told her mother what was happening, who called resort security to intervene, it alleges.

The suit names the previous and current franchise owners of the Hampton Inn, a Hilton brand, and Hilton-related holding companies. It also names Red Rock Resorts, which owned the Palms at the time of the incident, and current owners the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, who currently own the property as a gaming authority. It also names the alleged trafficker. The Review-Journal could not find any evidence of criminal action taken against the named trafficker.

A Red Rock Resorts spokesman was not aware of the suit and declined to comment further when provided with the complaint because of a policy against discussing ongoing legal proceedings.

The complaint seeks a jury trial and damages.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.