A Michigan woman has filed a federal lawsuit alleging eight years of sexual abuse and trafficking in an Ann Arbor, Michigan Fairfield Inn. Having been sexually abused by her father throughout her childhood, she was living in an orphanage when her trafficking ordeal started at the age of 17.
As detailed in her complaint, that ordeal included “repeated instances of rape, physical abuse, verbal abuse, exploitation, psychological torment, kidnapping, and false imprisonment” at the Ann Arbor Fairfield Inn on Boardwalk Drive. Having attempted escapes on multiple separate occasions in order to seek medical attention, she was repeatedly brought back to the hotel and restrained before being forced to service more clients.
As is the case with so many trafficking complaints, it is impossible to imagine a set of circumstances where the hotel and its staff or management were unaware of the horrors taking place on the property. According to her lawsuit, the woman’s “trafficker or one of his partners was downstairs in the lobby in public view, standing surveillance as (she) was physically compelled to service a steady flow of buyers. There was a constant stream of male visitors to her room so that the foot traffic was both voluminous and obvious.” The room was regularly left in significant disarray with a wide variety of evidence left behind of what had transpired. When exiting the property through the lobby, “she appeared malnourished and withdrawn.”
Dozens of lawsuits now filed across the country accuse hospitality stalwarts like Hilton, Marriot, Wyndham, and others of repeatedly turning a blind eye to trafficking occuring on their properties in the name of profits. And, while the corporate offices of these chains insist that employees working at these franchised locations are trained in recognizing the signs of trafficking and how to respond, the realities emerging from the hotels themselves is drastically different.