Problem

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, which also owns the hotel brand Super 8 among others, is a prominent hospitality chain with more than 9,000 hotels and resorts worldwide.

Unfortunately, Wyndham also profits from exploitive on-demand pornography and is being sued by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) Law Center for facilitating underage sex trafficking.

On-Demand Pornography

After advocacy from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Marriott Hotels, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts have all have made the decision to remove on-demand, in-room pornography from all their hotels. InterContinental Hotels Group has made it a brand standard to prohibit the distribution of pornography in all its hotel chains, globally.

However, Wyndham continues to sell on-demand pornography, despite customer complaints and outreach from NCOSE. Themes of pornography sold by Wyndham include teen, incest, racism, and extreme violence.

Research shows that pornography is linked to increased sexual violence as well as other public health issues. We urge Wyndham Worldwide to discontinue distributing and profiting from pornography and join us in fostering a world free from sexual exploitation. Federal laws prohibit much of the hardcore pornography Wyndham profits from. Learn more about these laws here.

Sex Trafficking Case

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has taken a significant step forward in bringing a measure of justice to survivors of sex trafficking. NCOSE is co-counsel on a case that was filed against nationwide hotel chain Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc. and others for knowingly facilitating the sex trafficking of a 16-year-old girl beginning in 2014. Our pleadings allege that for years, the girl was trafficked in and out of several hotels owned by Wyndham and other chains in Santa Clara County, California. The young girl was forced to perform commercial sex acts with ten to fifteen men a day.

Through hotel staff and employees, Wyndham and the other hotels knew or should have known that Plaintiff B.M. was being trafficked for sex due to, but not limited to:

  1. large amounts of used condoms, empty lube bottles, and other sex-related items in the hotel room; payments for the rooms in cash;
  2. Plaintiff’s physical appearance (malnourished, bruised, beaten)
  3. a continuous procession of older men entering and leaving minor Plaintiff B.M.’s room;
  4. excessive requests for sheets, cleaning supplies, room service
  5. the personal relationship between the front desk employees and Plaintiff’s traffickers

Wyndham financially benefited from the sex trafficking of this young woman, and other victims like her, and developed and maintained business models that attract and foster the commercial sex market for traffickers and buyers alike.

In recent months, many other lawsuits have been filed against Wyndham Hotels for facilitating and profiting from the sex trafficking/prostitution of dozens of women and girls. See below for a sampling of these lawsuits and recent news coverage highlighting Wyndham’s compliance in the brutal exploitation of vulnerable individuals.

Proof

There have already been numerous victories for human dignity in the hotel industry through the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s No Vacancy for Exploitation campaign. 

As a result of efforts by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) – which includes brands such as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Candlewood & more – Starwood Hotels – which includes St. Regis, Westin, Sheraton & more – and Hyatt Hotels all changed corporate policies to stop distributing on-demand hardcore pornography in their guest rooms across all brands by the end of 2016.

Two local Houston hotels, a Hilton and a Holiday Inn, also canceled contracts with a pornography expo amid concerns of the event’s potential to increase demand for sex trafficking and prostitution in the area.

TRIGGER WARNING: hypersexualized images and video titles below.


Below are examples of on-demand pornography that Wyndham brands have sold in guest rooms, including those featuring themes of incest, teens, and sexual violence.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division. Co-counsel are Kim Adams (Levin Papantonio), Christopher Paulos (Levin Papantonio), Kathryn Avila (Levin Papantonio), and Eric Bauer.  The plaintiff, B.M., was 16 years old when her trafficking began at the Defendant hotels in 2014. Defendants are Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc., Choice Hotels International, Inc. and G6 Hospitality, LLC.

B.M. was trafficked throughout Santa Clara County, California at Super 8 (Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc.), Clarion Inn (Choice Hotels International, Inc.), and Motel 6 (G6 Hospitality, LLC). For two years, Plaintiff’s traffickers rented two adjoining rooms at the Super 8 and Clarion Inn. Plaintiff was one of several other girls that were being simultaneously trafficked in these two rooms. Each girl, including minor Plaintiff B.M., would be forced to perform commercial sex acts with ten to fifteen men a day.

Clarion Inn employees threatened to eject Plaintiff B.M. and her traffickers, but never took further action. Despite these threats, Plaintiff B.M. and several other victims continued to be trafficked on the premises.

For one month, Plaintiff B.M. was trafficked at the Motel 6, where she was raped hundreds of times for the profit of her pimp and to the benefit of Defendant G6. Plaintiff was forced to perform commercial sex acts with up to twenty (20) men a day.

Day after day, a procession of adult men would enter minor Plaintiff B.M.’s room, stay for 15 minutes to an hour on average, and then leave.  One of Plaintiff’s traffickers had a personal relationship with the front desk employee at the Motel 6. Through this relationship, Plaintiff’s trafficker was able to secure a room in the back of the hotel, out of sight from most of the other patrons and passerby. This front desk employee would also notify the trafficker when law enforcement officials were on or near the premises.

Through hotel staff and employees, Defendants knew or should have known that Plaintiff B.M. was being trafficked for sex due to, but not limited to:

  1. large amounts of used condoms, empty lube bottles, and other sex-related items in the hotel room; payments for the rooms in cash;
  2. Plaintiff’s physical appearance (malnourished, bruised, beaten)
  3. a continuous procession of older men entering and leaving minor Plaintiff B.M.’s room;
  4. excessive requests for sheets, cleaning supplies, room service
  5. the personal relationship between the front desk employees and Plaintiff’s traffickers

The Defendant Hotels all financially benefited from the sex trafficking of B.M., and other victims like her, and developed and maintained business models that attract and foster the commercial sex market for traffickers and buyers alike.

Defendant Hotels enjoy the steady stream of income that sex traffickers bring to their hotel brands, such as the Super 8, Clarion Inn, and Motel 6.

Defendant Hotels financially benefit from their ongoing reputation for privacy, discretion, and the facilitation of commercial sex.

Defendant Hotels failed to take any steps to alert the authorities, properly intervene in the situation, or take reasonable security steps to improve awareness of sex trafficking and/or prevent sexual exploitation on their properties.

Defendant Hotels maintained their deficiencies to maximize profits by:

  • Reducing the cost of training employees and managers on how to spot the signs of human trafficking and sexual exploitation and what steps to take;
  • Not refusing room rentals, or reporting guests to law enforcement, in order to maximize the number of rooms occupied and the corresponding rates, even if the rooms rented were to sex traffickers or buyers;
  • Lowering security costs by not having proper security measures, including, but not limited to, employing qualified security officers to actively combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Below are more news stories about other lawsuits against Wyndham:

 *   Associated Press<https://apnews.com/5c9ab8de02d2c7ad00b629f5f0c9c3d5>
*   U.S. News & World Report<https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/ohio/articles/2019-12-19/lawsuits-allege-hotel-chains-ignored-human-trafficking>
*   ABC News<https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/lawsuits-allege-hotel-chains-human-trafficking-67820401>
*   Yahoo Finance<https://finance.yahoo.com/news/lawsuits-allege-hotel-chains-ignored-111321798.html>
*   MSN / Microsoft News<https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/lawsuits-allege-hotel-chains-ignored-human-trafficking/ar-BBY9Dpf>
*   San Francisco Chronicle<https://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Lawsuits-allege-hotel-chains-ignored-human-14918004.php>
*   Ft. Worth Star Telegram<https://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article238537008.html>
*   The Washington Times<https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/dec/19/lawsuits-allege-hotel-chains-ignored-human-traffic/>
*   Lexington Herald Leader<https://www.kentucky.com/news/business/article238537008.html>
*   Rochester Democrat and Chronicle<https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/travel/hotels/2019/12/19/lawsuits-allege-hotel-chains-ignored-human-trafficking/2696622001/>
*   FOX 8 Cleveland<https://fox8.com/2019/12/19/lawsuits-allege-hotel-chains-ignored-human-trafficking/>
*   FOX 19 Columbus<https://www.fox19.com/2019/12/19/latest-ohio-news-sports-business-entertainment-am-est/>
*   Voice of America<https://www.voanews.com/usa/lawsuits-allege-us-hotel-chains-ignored-human-trafficking>
*   Edge Media Network<https://www.edgemedianetwork.com/business/285811/lawsuits_allege_hotel_chains_ignored_human_trafficking> (piece has appeared in Edge Sacramento, Edge Miami, Edge Dallas)

Lawsuits

Action

Sign the Petition for Wyndham to Change Its Policies

Tell This Company to Retract Wyndham’s Award

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.

Sign The Pledge

View & Sign the Pledge Here.

* The Pledge is for Individuals & Organization

Report Suspected Sex Trafficking

If you suspect sex trafficking, or human trafficking, report the tip to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 1 (888) 373-7888.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.

Fight Trafficking. Take a Photo!

Help fight trafficking by uploading photos of your hotel room. These photos will be used to determine where perpetrators of sex trafficking are committing their crimes.

Download the app, TraffickCam. Details here.

Law Center

 

At the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), we believe the law is the greatest tool to defend human dignity against sex trafficking, pornography, child sexual abuse, and more. It sets social norms, punishes exploiters, and gives justice to survivors.

The NCOSE Law Center is an advocate to intervene in key, precedent-setting cases and speaks up in our state and federal legislatures to impact policy for those who have no voice.

The NCOSE Law Center empowers citizens to improve their states and communities through model legislation on issues like pornography, illicit massage parlors, combating the demand for sex trafficking and prostitution, and more.

The NCOSE Law Center also mentors and trains future lawyers and trains prosecutors to ensure a future generation of legal advocates who know how to best help victims and shape legislation that respects human safety and flourishing.

Learn more about the NCOSE Law Center here.

Updates

2020 Dirty “Baker’s Dozen” List of Mainstream Contributors to Sexual Exploitation Announced by National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Seeking Arrangement, Amazon, Twitter, TikTok, Among Top Contributors to Sexual Exploitation in America Washington, DC (February 6, 2020) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation today announced its 2020 Dirty Dozen List, a list of mainstream entities that are major facilitators of sexual exploitation in the United States. Watch the video announcement at DirtyDozenList.com. The…

2020 Dirty Dozen List graphic

Meet the 2020 Dirty Dozen List

In 2020, it is intolerable for a mainstream company or entity to facilitate, profit from, or normalize sexual exploitation—and that’s why the Dirty Dozen List exists. This list ensures that their promotion and collusion with sexual assault, sex trafficking, pornography, the eroticization of incest, and more, becomes public knowledge, and equips concerned citizens with information and…

2020 Dirty Dozen List graphic

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…

Wyndham and Other Hotels Sued for Facilitating Sex Trafficking

Excerpt from AP COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Lawyers representing human trafficking victims want a single federal judge to oversee multiple lawsuits alleging that major hotel chains have ignored human trafficking taking place on their premises. Attorneys have asked a federal panel to consolidate at least 21 such lawsuits pending in 11 states into a single…

The NCOSE Law Center is Pioneering Tactics for a World Free from Sexual Exploitation

At the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), we believe the law is one of the greatest tools for defending human dignity against sex trafficking, pornography, child sexual abuse, and more. It sets social norms, punishes exploiters, and gives justice to survivors. The NCOSE Law Center is an advocate to intervene in key, precedent-setting cases…

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Graphics & Research

Related Hotel Victories

NCOSE Drafts Model Brand Standards for Major Hotels Regarding Exploitive Events

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is calling on major hotels to adopt new brand standards regarding pornography, or sexploitation, events. It is vital that mainstream hotels reject facilitating sexual exploitation, and that they do not subject their staff and community to the harmful secondary effects such events produce.

Read More

August 2016

Two Hotels Cancel Hosting a Pornography Expo

In less than two weeks, two hotels in Houston, TX, (Hilton Houston Galleria Area Hotel, and the independently owned Holiday Inn Southwest hotel) opted to break contracts with the TEXXXAS porn event. It’s significant that socially responsible corporations are refusing to do business with this expo in light of the many harms associated with pornography. Among…

Read More

July, 2016

IHG removes porn, makes statement against “sexual exploitation”

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), an international hotel company, worked with NCOSE to ensure pornography distribution is prohibited in all of its hotel chains, globally. IHG sent a communication to all of its hotels, informing them of the policy re-enforcement to be implemented as soon as respective contracts run out. IHG has also pledged to continuously…

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February, 2016

Starwood agrees to stop selling porn, condemns all forms of exploitation

This global hotel chain was a 2016 Dirty Dozen List target for its sale of hardcore pornography via on-demand television offerings. Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, which includes brands like the Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, Aloft, Le Meridien, and more, implemented a new policy to no longer provide pornography choices as part of their pay-per…

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January, 2016

Hyatt Hotel Corporation Rejects Profits from Porn

Hyatt Hotel Corporation changed its policy and will now remove all on-demand pornography from its guestrooms worldwide. “Hyatt was eager to work with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation after we reached out to the corporation to share concerns about the neurological and psychological harms of pornography,” said Patrick Trueman, President and CEO of NOCSE….

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October, 2015

After nearly three years on the Dirty Dozen List, Hilton Worldwide stops selling porn

Hilton Worldwide, one of the world’s leading hotel and leisure companies with operations in more than in 85 countries, announced on August 17, 2015 that it is joining the ranks of competitors such as Marriott, Omni, Drury, Ritz-Carlton and Nordic Choice Hotels, with its implementation of a no pornographic video policy across their brand. A…

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August, 2015

After long battle, Marriott finally changes their porn policy

After years of lobbying by a large coalition of groups, including us at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (formerly Morality in Media), Citizens for Community Values, American Family Association, Focus on the Family, and others, Marriott Hotels & Resorts announced in 2011 that they would be dropping pornography from their locations. While a major…

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2011

Robert Rowling of Omni Hotels: “I don’t want this in my hotels!”

In an October 2000 New York Times article, Omni’s president, Jim Caldwell, said that his company’s decision to remove the sex-videos would cost it an estimated $1.8 million per year. The company stated that “[t]he anticipated loss in revenue demonstrates the company’s commitment to the issue. Omni Hotels has already removed adult magazines from the…

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1999