Albuquerque motel facing federal sex trafficking lawsuit

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Another Albuquerque motel is facing a federal sex trafficking lawsuit.

Attorneys claim the Motel 6 near I-25 and Paseo del Norte not only profited off the repeated sexual abuse of a local woman, but it argues the employees knew about it and did nothing to stop it.

The new lawsuit revolves around an unidentified Albuquerque woman who says she was repeatedly forced to have sex with men hundreds of times inside rooms at the Motel 6 for nearly two years. The lawsuit claims her captors also beat her and withheld food and water to make sure she couldn’t escape.

While those allegations are horrific on their own, the lawsuit goes on to say motel staff did nothing to stop the abuse and ignored several red flags. Those red flags included the woman’s captors paying for the room in cash, a large number of men visiting the room, and an unusually large amount of used condoms in the trash can.

The lawsuit even claims some employees escorted men to the woman’s room and ignored her obvious injuries and cries for help.

This is not the first sex trafficking lawsuit targeting a Motel 6 in Albuquerque.

A separate federal lawsuit was filed earlier this year, claiming a woman was repeatedly raped at the Motel 6 near the Big-I in 2019. That lawsuit also argued the employees there did nothing to stop the abuse, and that’s even after the woman reportedly asked them for help.

“This one is more of the more egregious in the sense that she made eye contact with the clerk and mouthed the words ‘help me,’ and yet, nothing was done,” L. Todd Kelly, the attorney in that lawsuit, told KOB 4. “The people in the hotel and hospitality industry are in the best position to see this stuff happening, and they need to be incentivized to stop it rather than turn a blind eye and profit from it.”

The new lawsuit claims Motel 6 and its parent company knowingly profited off the sexual abuse happening on its property – and despite a public commitment to challenge trafficking operations, the company did not take any reasonable steps to intervene.

A Motel 6 spokesperson shared the following statement:

“There is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of our guests. We condemn all forms of human trafficking and have a zero-tolerance policy against it.”

The lawsuit is demanding a jury trial, but it’s worth noting the company settled a very similar lawsuit with a different sex trafficking victim in Albuquerque several years ago.