PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Lawyers claim several local hotels helped sex traffickers enslave young girls in what they call a rampant sex slave business. The two men convicted as ringleaders of the human sex trafficking rings are serving lengthy prison sentences and now lawyers are turning their focus on the hotels.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday seeks to hold the owners and parent companies of three Philadelphia hotels responsible for what it alleges are human sex trafficking rings, that happened right under their noses.
Two teenage girls were held captive in a sex trafficking ring that lawyers contend was operated out of three Philadelphia hotels — the Roosevelt Inn, Days Inn and North American Motor Inns.
Lawyers describe it as “modern day slavery.” Management at all of the facilities said they had no knowledge of the 40-page document.
“At it’s worst, you’re talking about the rape of young girls,” Nadeem Bezar, attorney at Kline and Specter, said.
Attorneys at Kline and Specter allege in two suits that staff at Roosevelt Inn and Days Inn on Roosevelt Boulevard and North American Motor Inn on City Avenue turned a blind eye to young women walking about the properties in lingerie as a string of men cycled in and out of rooms.
“There’s probably something illegal going on behind closed doors, and they allow it to happen,” Bezar said. “They’re not supposed to do that, they’re supposed to protect the people on their premises.”
Asif Youl identified himself as a manager of the Days Inn. He believes they’ve properly handled potentially inappropriate incidents.
“If we knew that, obviously we would call [police],” Youl said.
Two years ago, the Roosevelt Inn, located just up the street, was named in a separate lawsuit again for allegations of a sex trafficking ring operating under its roof.
It’s something managers denied at the time. The case is still in litigation.
Eyewitness News met Ian Ferguson outside. He said he was on his way in to apply for a job.
“I don’t know how you bounce back from something like that,” Ferguson said. “I think shut it down. The stigma is going to follow no matter what they do.”