Sex Trafficking Lawsuits
Human trafficking is a crime that affects an estimated 24.9 million victims globally according to the U.S. Department of State. Human traffickers exploit victims to perform labor and engage in commercial sexual activity. Trafficking crimes have occurred in and through various businesses including hospitality, agriculture, construction, landscaping, restaurants, factories, massage parlors, salons, drug smuggling, religious institutions, and domestic work.
What is Sex Trafficking?
Sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking where a person is forced to perform sexual acts by threats, coercion, or intimidation. If a child under the age of 18 is made to engage in for-profit sexual activity, regardless of the use of force or threatened coercion, the perpetrator is guilty of violating federal law. Any offender who partakes in sex trafficking by recruiting, sheltering, transporting, advertising, or soliciting victims to provide commercial sexual services is guilty of a federal crime. Perpetrators of sexual trafficking crimes often transport victims through commercial airports and other forms of public transportation to hotels, motels, salons and sporting events to engage in coerced sexual activity.
Legislation Provides Criminal and Civil Liability to Perpetrators
Businesses and institutions that engage in sex trafficking are now subject to state and federal civil claims brought by victims of trafficking schemes. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (“Act”), which has been amended several times since its inception, provides that human trafficking is a crime under the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute. The Act assigns criminal liability to perpetrators who receive sexual services from those forced into trafficking. It also authorizes victims to file civil claims against businesses and institutions that “knowingly benefit from their participation in what they knew or should have known” was sex trafficking activities.
The Rise in Sexual Trafficking Lawsuits Against Various Businesses and Industries
In the past three years, cases filed under the Act have sharply increased. These lawsuits allege that certain corporations, including hotels, motels, massage parlors, and truck stops have permitted sex traffickers to operate on their premises and failed to deter their activities. Commercial facilities may be liable for crimes involving sex trafficking if they fail to protect their patrons with surveillance equipment, security personnel, effective training for employees, or a system for reporting incidents of sex trafficking. The standard for liability articulated in the Act allows victims to recover when they can demonstrate that these institutions “should have known” that trafficking was occurring on their premises. In one lawsuit filed against sex traffickers, the victims claim that the business “benefitted” from sex trafficking and did not take “reasonable steps” to protect them. In another lawsuit, victims allege that a company facilitated the creation of sex trafficking rings.
LK has the experience, knowledge, and resources to resolve claims against sexual abusers. We strive to obtain the best possible result while maintaining your privacy. If you have been the victim of sex trafficking, please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation by calling 1-800-988-8005 or through the form on this page.