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Saturday, March 18, 2017

US authorities target hotels and motels in fight against sex trafficking

To the thousands of motorists driving along Route 1 in Philadelphia, the Roosevelt Inn looks like any other roadside city motel.

But there, inside a guest room, a 14-year-old girl was "sold into sexual slavery," barred from leaving for months and forced to engage in sex acts with 1,000 men as motel staff looked the other way, according to a new lawsuit.

The suit -- the first of its kind in Pennsylvania -- targets the motel and its owners in seeking civil compensation for the victim, now 17. It also serves as a nationwide warning to hotels and motels knowingly profiting from child sex trafficking, according to lawyers for the girl.

"This lawsuit sends a clear message that you need to police your hallways and you cannot profit from sex trafficking," said Nadeem Bezar, who along with two other lawyers announced the filing of the lawsuit Friday on behalf of the girl, identified as "M.B."

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