What’s Current: Girl sues motel that facilitated and profited from her prostitution

A girl who was prostituted at age 14 is suing the motel that facilitated and profited off of her exploitation:

“Motels and hotels across the [US] are facilitating sex trafficking, often cloaking the traffickers in anonymity and profiting from their business. The pimps and prostitutes are occasionally nabbed and criminally prosecuted. But rarely does anything happen to the hotel owners and staff that turn a blind eye.

Now a lawsuit brought by a 14-year-old girl in Philadelphia and her lawyer aims to change that.”

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Susan Cox
Susan Cox

Susan Cox is a feminist writer and academic living in the United States. She teaches in Philosophy.

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  • cday881@gmail.com

    Could the US government prosecute such motels under RICO?

    • lk

      Hmm, I’m not sure. I’m not an expert on RICO law or anything, but I used to be really into learning about organized crime and rico law comes up a lot.

      In addition to federal rico laws, states have their own varying rico laws which I don’t know that much about.

      Rico law requires that there be a pattern of racketeering by an organization (gang, mafia, etc). I’m not sure how the courts would show that the hotel owners or workers constituted a criminal organization…they are really just individuals profiting from a crime. I know in some cities Rico has been used to convict gangs that were involved in trafficking and prostitution.

  • rosearan

    I’ve done a women’s self-defence course and refresher courses over the last twenty years. Thank god that, so far, I have never had to use it in a real situation.

    But I get really annoyed when I see TV and film portrayals of women being attacked. The victims do everything that a women’s self defence course tells them not to do. When an attacker grabs their throat, they ineffectually struggle to pull his hands away. I scream at the TV: Push yours hands up between his arms and break the grip! When an attacker grabs them from behind, I scream: Swing your body to the left and push your elbow into his stomach! But they just struggle and scream.

    Of course, I have no way of knowing what I would do if faced with the same situation. Perhaps I would just freeze and my brain would go numb. Perhaps I would forget everything my self-defence courses have taught me. The art of fighting back is something that women are enculturated to reject. It’s just not ladylike to go on the physical aggressive. Fighting is a men’s sport.

    Police warnings to not fight back, lest it causes the attacker to escalate the violence, only reinforces the helpless female trope. If you fight back, then you only have yourself to blame for being killed, raped and/or seriously injured.

    Rubbish. Forget your conditioning and learn the art of physical fighting, as men have done for centuries. It may one day save your life or prevent you from being raped.

  • FierceMild

    Right?!! This is so rage-making. Are people ‘lured’ into murder? Theft? Arson? Nope. Just rape.

  • Wren

    please excuse my punctuation, but my cat spilled my beer on my laptop last night and now the shift keys won’t work. lol.

    anyway, i think that most hotels make a large portion of their money from prostitution. i mean i doubt theres any research, but men often pay for the whole night for an hour at cheaper hotels. that’s where i was first turned out. i hate hotels to this day and i imagine many other formerly prostituted women feel the same. sucks.

    • lk

      I would love to know the math on this as well.

      What percentage of hotel profits come from prostitutes with johns? When I was younger and would pass those very seedy motels, I would always think that the only people who were using those hotels were pimps, prostitutes or people struggling with addiction. I’m sure the high-end hotels turn a blind eye to it as well.