ALPHARETTTA, Ga. — A purported victim of sex trafficking filed a complaint in United States District Court Jan. 10 against the Alpharetta location of Ramada Worldwide Inc. for allegedly allowing her to be trafficked there as a minor.
The victim, an Alpharetta resident who is referred to as “J.K.” in the complaint, alleges that she was trafficked by a man identified in the complaint as “Kelvin” at the Ramada Limited Suites at 3020 Mansell Rd. from 2013-2014.
The complaint alleges that Kelvin threatened J.K. with violence and distributed video footage of J.K performing sex acts to individuals she knew as a form of punishment for threatening to stop performing the acts.
The complaint filed by attorneys Matthew B. Stoddard and M. Janine Bell of The Stoddard Firm, who represent J.K., stated that Kelvin would pay for rooms one night at a time in cash and that the hotel had knowledge of online reviews by individuals claiming they were solicited for or mentioning evidence of prostitution during their stay.
The complaint stated that J.K. is entitled to a claim against the hotel under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, which states that "whoever knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture which that person knew or should have known” is in violation of the act.
By allowing Kelvin to rent rooms at the hotel, profit off these rooms and Kelvin’s use of the hotel Wi-Fi network to advertise J.K. for sex, the Ramada knowingly benefited from the trafficking, the complaint states.
Stoddard wrote in an email that the firm has faith in the courts to “interpret the TVPRA such that franchisor entities cannot escape justice.” Stoddard also wrote that the case would pursue theories that were not pursued in in Doe v. Red Roof Inn, a previous TVPRA sex trafficking case in which the plaintiffs failed to prove their claims.
“Our firm remains committed to helping survivors of sexual assault,” Stoddard wrote.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has not provided a comment as of publication.
The case, number 1:23-cv-00108, will be presented before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.