A 17-year-old girl from Philadelphia has come forward with allegations that she was held against her will for years at a motel considered “the epicenter of human trafficking” by prosecutors.
The teen said that she was held captive at the motel starting when she was 14 and was forced to have sex with more than 1,000 men for money, sometimes $50, CBS Philadelphia reported.
Yanga Patel, manager of the Roosevelt Inn, has responded to these sickening accusations by saying, “I was always in the office. I didn’t see anything wrong,” a claim the plaintiff’s lawyers eviscerated.
“This child was forced into sex slavery, paid to do things with men double, triple, quadruple her age,” attorney Nadeem Bezar said. “She is devastated by what happened to her. She’s just trying to piece her life back together.”
“You have a cleaning crew that comes into the room and oftentimes finds boxes or waste cans full of use condoms,” the attorney added. “This is about as open and obvious as it gets.”
“You have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to know that 100 men are showing up over a period of a couple days,” Tom Kline, another legal representative, said. “You can’t have a line of johns out the front door and around the room waiting without them knowing. The front desk would direct the traffic to the room of this child.”
Due to the state’s human trafficking law, which was revised in 2014, the Roosevelt Inn will be very much on the hook here. While those who held the girl captive have been sentenced and are behind bars, the motel also played a role in the human trafficking case.
The Roosevelt Inn is being sued for facilitating human trafficking and directly or indirectly profiting from it.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, this is the first civil suit of its kind since the human trafficking law was changed. The suit alleges that a hotel clerk named “Abdul” was aware that the victim and “other underage children were compelled to perform sex for money.” It also says the room where the teen was abused “contained used condoms and condom wrappers and the room frequently smelled of marijuana,” had a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, and was treated like a revolving door.
The hotel is being sued for more than $50,000 in damages.
The teen escaped two years into her nightmare at the motel, reconnected with her family, and is slowly piecing her life back together, the Inquirer reported.