Lawsuit alleges Albuquerque motel staff turned blind eye to sex trafficking

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A woman is suing the Motel 6 near the Big I, alleging they didn’t do anything to help her as she fell victim to sex trafficking.

The woman filed the lawsuit under the name, “Jane Doe,” for her own protection. However, lawyers say they’ll disclose her identity once they receive a protection order from the court.

The lawsuit claims she was exploited and repeatedly raped by her trafficker and other men who came to the motel. She says she was held against her will at the motel, on University near I-40, throughout March 2019.

The lawsuit also outlines multiple alleged examples of when she tried to tell employees she was being abused. She says she had visible bruises on her face as she mouthed the words “Help Me” to hotel workers. However, she says she was ignored.

Another time she claims she was physically dragged out of the lobby in front of employees – but no one called the police.

Her attorney says both state and federal law state any entity profiting off of human trafficking can be held liable for the damages caused by the abuse.

“This one is one of the more egregious, in the sense that she made eye contact with the clerk and mouthed the words ‘Help Me,’ yet nothing was done. 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,” attorney L. Todd Kelly said.

KOB 4 reached out to the Motel 6 to see if they would talk about this lawsuit. However, their lawyer declined to comment.

The plaintiff didn’t specify how much they were seeking in damages.

This isn’t the first time this motel is facing a lawsuit for allegedly turning a blind eye to human trafficking. In 2019, they paid out a settlement to another Jane Doe who had very similar claims.