Teen Forced to Have Sex With 1K Men Sues Philly Motel

Says hotel, employees turned a blind eye to sex trafficking
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2017 11:15 AM CDT
Teen Forced to Have Sex With 1K Men Sues Philly Motel
Philadelphia's Roosevelt Inn.   (Roosevelt Inn)

From the outside, Philadelphia's Roosevelt Inn may look any other motel. It's actually the city's "epicenter of human trafficking," according to prosecutors. In a lawsuit filed Friday, a 17-year-old girl details how she was "sold into sexual slavery" at the 107-room motel in 2013, held there for months at a time over two years, and forced to engage in sex acts with 1,000 men "double, triple and quadruple her age," reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The suit is the first to be brought under a Pennsylvania law allowing sex trafficking victims to seek compensation from establishments that profited from the abuse, reports the Washington Post. However, the motel's resident manager, also named in the suit, says he was unaware anything of the kind was taking place.

"I was always in the office," Yagna Patel, 72, tells CBS Philadelphia. "I didn't see anything wrong." The men responsible for forcing the teen to work as a prostitute have already been convicted, but now the teen is seeking $50,000 in damages from the motel for essentially allowing it to happen. "It is a flagrant and blatant example of a motel looking the other way," says a lawyer for the teen, who has escaped the life and is living elsewhere in the city. Law enforcement authorities do not sound surprised about the lawsuit. "Almost every trafficking investigation we have, we see the victim is at Roosevelt Inn," says an assistant DA. (Sex trafficking previously thrived in this sleepy state.)

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