Oregon Hotels Sued for Turning Blind Eye to Sex Trafficking

  Several prominent hotel chains are being sued by a woman who was sexually trafficked at their locations throughout Oregon and Washington. The plaintiff, known only as “A.B.” filed the suit in Portland on December 9.  

The defendants are Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Marriott International Inc., Choice Hotels Corp., Extended Stay America Inc. and Red Lion Hotels Corp., who are being sued for $10 million.  

According to the suit, A.B. was trafficked for a period between September 2012 and March 2013 at locations including the Marriott Residence Inn and the DoubleTree in Portland, the Rodeway Inn and the Extended Stay America in Vancouver, and the Red Lion Inn in Salem, seeing at least seven clients per night. She was 22 years old at the time.  

The suit accuses the hotels of ignoring “obvious signs of human trafficking (no eye contact and duration of stay) and indicators of commercial sex activity (bottles of lubricants, boxes of condoms, used condoms in the trash, excessive requests for towels and linens, room rentals by her pimp with cash or credit while A.B. actually entered the room).’’  

Her attorney, Joel Shapiro of Portland, told The Oregonian “The hotel industry has known for a long time that sex trafficking is a major problem at their properties. This lawsuit seeks to hold them accountable for the harm they’ve done to A.B. and thousands of other victims.”  

By Brandon Urey 

Do you have a story for The Advocate? Email editor@corvallisadvocate.com