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Motel near Strip should’ve stopped woman from being trafficked, lawsuit alleges

Updated October 25, 2023 - 5:21 pm

A woman who says she was sex trafficked at a Motel 6 just off the Strip has alleged in a federal lawsuit that the property’s owner-operator did nothing to stop the crimes against her because it would have cut into the motel’s profit.

The lawsuit, filed last week in Las Vegas, alleges that the woman, identified only as N.C. and who now lives in Washington state, was trafficked for sex at various times from 2013 through 2019 at the Motel 6 at 195 East Tropicana Avenue, just east of Las Vegas Boulevard South.

The defendant and its employees “aided, concealed, confined, benefited and profited from sex trafficking and other criminal activity” that was happening at the Tropicana Avenue motel, the lawsuit alleges.

“The motivation behind Defendant’s ongoing willful blindness and ongoing failure to act was financial benefit,” the lawsuit claims.

Randolph Janis, a New York-based lawyer who is the lead attorney for the woman, and who is working with the Las Vegas firm Eglet Adams, said he wants to hold what he said were not just sex traffickers, but the enablers of sex traffickers, accountable.

“My goal is twofold: to try to get some compensation for my client to help the victim better their life in the future, and to help hold entities across the country who are enabling sex trafficking, I want to help hold them accountable,” Janis said.

The lawsuit alleges “the traffic and parade of men coming in and out of her room was tremendous,” the lawsuit says. “This procession of unregistered male guests would have been open and obvious to anyone working at the subject hotel.”

“It’s not something discreet or hidden going on at the hotel,” Janis said. “It’s something that they should have noticed.”

The defendant is listed as G6 Property Hospitality LLC, a Nevada Limited Liability Company, which is described in the lawsuit as the “hotel owner, hotel operator, franchisee, manager, and/or supervisor” of the Motel 6 at 196 East Tropicana.

The defendant had not responded to the lawsuit as of Monday, according to federal court records, and a Motel 6 spokesperson reached via email did not comment directly on the lawsuit.

“There is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of our guests, our team members, and the communities in which we operate,” the email stated. “We condemn all forms of human trafficking and have a zero-tolerance policy against it. Trafficking of people violates basic human rights and is a global societal problem.”

Janis, who said he has litigated about 30 similar cases in Florida, a case in New York, and is involved in about 10 other pending cases in various states, said the ability to sue for what he said was alleged enabling of sex trafficking stems from federal legislation called the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

“Within it, it provides that a victim of sex trafficking can bring a claim against an individual or entity who knowingly benefited financially from participating that they knew or should’ve known was engaged in sex trafficking,” Janis said.

“The number of federal civil trafficking cases has increased steadily each year between 2003 and 2021, with the exception of a drop in 2020,” according to a 2022 report from the Washington, D.C.-based Human Trafficking Legal Center.

Janis said that in the Las Vegas Motel 6 case, the alleged trafficker wasn’t convicted. Asked if the alleged trafficker was arrested, Janis said, “not to my knowledge.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the defendant “failed to implement” training programs and policies that would’ve led to “preventing, identifying, reporting, documenting, investigating, and stopping sex trafficking at the subject hotel.”

The Motel 6 spokesperson said the company does have such training.

“We have an extensive anti-human trafficking training program for all employees, franchisees, and hotel teams — providing training and resources throughout the year to ensure our properties stay current on best practices, including identifying the signs of trafficking,” the Motel 6 spokesperson said in an email.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com.

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