Lawsuit Accuses Philly Hotel of Providing Rooms to Human Traffickers

A suit filed against the Roosevelt Motor Inn in Rhawnhurst is the first of its kind under the state’s 2014 human trafficking statute.

Roosevelt Motor Inn. Photo via Google Maps

A hotel in Northeast Philadelphia has been accused of regularly providing rooms to human traffickers.

A lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 17-year-old girl who claims she was forced to perform sexual acts with men at the Roosevelt Motor Inn, located at 7630 Roosevelt Boulevard in Rhawnhurst. The lawsuit, which was filed in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, accuses the hotel of knowingly and regularly providing rooms to her traffickers in 2013 and 2014, starting when she was just 14 years old.

It’s reportedly the first lawsuit of its kind under Pennsylvania’s 2014 human trafficking statute, which establishes that businesses that directly or indirectly benefit from human trafficking can be forced to pay compensation to victims.

The lawsuit, filed by Kline & Specter partners Thomas Kline, Nadeem Bezar and Emily Marks, lists the defendants as the Roosevelt Motor Inn; its manager, Yagna Patel; and the company that owns the motel, UFVS Management Company, which operates out of Purchase, New York.

The complaint states that the defendants “failed to take any steps to prevent human sex trafficking at the Roosevelt Motor Inn and instead permitted heinous and unspeakable acts to occur and profited from them.”

To read the full story by Claire Sasko on Philadelphia: Click Here

Commentary: A Phila. Haven For Women When Evils Of Trafficking Hit Close To Home

The woman’s twin daughters were 8 months old when her pimp took them away. “Kidnapped them,” she told me.

Human trafficking is all about control, according to Sister Terry Shields, one of the cofounders of Dawn’s Place, a Philadelphia-based safe haven where those prostituted can reclaim their lives and voices.

The woman told me she came from a dysfunctional home where no one ever listened to her. “I was always screaming but never heard,” she said.

That’s what it means to have no voice. That’s the vulnerability that makes women and girls prey for savvy predators running the second-most lucrative criminal enterprise in the world, officially named commercial sexual exploitation, and known as CSE.

The engine of CSE, the pimps, they listen. They stake out malls and streets where the prospects – often girls who have recently run away from home – hang out. Sister Kathleen Coll, executive director of Dawn’s Place, described the grooming process.

The pimp, in a pleasant and kindly manner, approaches the girl, compliments her on her lovely hair or jeans. It may take a few encounters, but the pimp is patient. Eventually, he wins her confidence.

For him, it’s worth the effort. After all, one prostituted child can eventually turn a number of tricks in one day and do it day after day. You acquire a kilo of cocaine, says Sister Kathleen, and you can sell it only once. Our daughters (and sons, too) can be sold over and over.

To read the full story by Orlando R. Barone at Philly.com: Click Here