January 31, 2020

This Gang Knew Wyndham Hotels Were Prime Locations for Sex Trafficking

In 2011, a Change.org petition was launched to address rampant gang-based sex trafficking in Wyndham hotels.

The petition argued:

From 2006 to 2011, members of the Crips gang in San Diego ran a child sex trafficking ring of at least 16 girls out of various area hotels. Two of the properties on which many instances of child sex trafficking took place were a Howard Johnson in Escondido, California, and a Travelodge in San Diego, California, both of which are owned by the Wyndham group.

At the Howard Johnson, hotel staff neglected to take any action to protect the long parade of children who were being ushered in to be raped, but the Travelodge staff actually assisted the pimps. Two members of the Travelodge staff allowed the gang members to use the hotel computer to post online ads advertising sex with minors. They also knowingly rented rooms for use in prostitution, charged higher room rates for rooms to be used for child sex trafficking and pocketed the difference, and warned the pimps if police were nearby.

That Wyndham hotel employees are actively participating in a child sex trafficking ring shows a desperate an immediate need for better child protection policies at Wyndham Hotels.

In 2011, the petition claimed victory because Wyndham worked with ECPAT-USA to improve child protection policies.

Unfortunately, years later, it is clear that these improvements were not enough.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center launched a lawsuit against Wyndham, and other hotels, for financially benefitting from the sex trafficking of a 16-year-old girl, despite clear signs of sex trafficking.

Learn more about this lawsuit here.

Take action here:

Last year, the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference presented Wyndham president and CEO Geoff Ballotti with the Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award.

This award honors an executive, entrepreneur, company or association in the hospitality industry that has shown exemplary efforts in promoting the hotel and tourism business.

Take action and email the conference to recommend that they rescind this award considering the Wyndham policies that allow and facilitate sexual exploitation.

Further Reading