HOUSTON, Jan. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A Texas human trafficking survivor has filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against Backpage.com and the Houston-area hotels and truck stops where she was allegedly exploited, according to her lawyers at Annie McAdams PC and Sico Hoelscher Harris & Braugh LLP.
The case, filed in state district court in Harris County, alleges that Backpage.com and several national hotel and truck stop companies benefited from sexual exploitation of the survivor – "Jane Doe #1" – in violation of Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 98, an anti-trafficking law passed in 2009, and other state laws.
According to the petition, "Sex trafficking of minors has exploded in the last decade as a result of the internet marketplace of sexual assault and sexual exploitation created by the Backpage defendants… The truck stop defendants knowingly benefitted from the trafficking and sexual exploitation of Jane Doe #1 as well as the sexual exploitation of other children... Human trafficking and the sexual exploitation is a rampant and known problem in the hotel industry."
The lawsuit alleges the survivor began to be exploited as a 15-year-old in 2014 and 2015 at defendant's Houston-area hotels and truck stops through the use of "sanitized" Backpage ads that "conceal child human trafficking."
Ms. McAdams said, "This courageous survivor is fighting back as she rebuilds her life. With the help of Chapter 98 protection, we believe trafficking survivors in Texas can expose and hold accountable businesses that benefit from these crimes of exploitation."
Mr. Harris said, "We hope this lawsuit will help force the hotel and truck stop industries to adopt effective anti-trafficking policies, train their staffs to recognize illicit activity, and establish safe and secure human trafficking reporting systems."
The case is "Jane Doe #1 v. Backpage.com, LLC d/b/a Backpage, et al.," Case 2018-04501 in the 270th State District Court of Harris County, Texas.
Media Contact: Erin Powers, Powers MediaWorks LLC, [email protected], 281.703.6000.
SOURCE Annie McAdams PC