Dirty Dozen List 2020 - Wyndham header

The 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 for facilitating minor sex trafficking by a trafficking survivor represented by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center.

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.

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.

WARNING: Any pornographic images have been blurred, but are still suggestive. There may also be graphic text descriptions shown in these sections.
POSSIBLE TRIGGER.

Proof

Previous Success With Hotels

Previous Success With Hotels

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.

On-Demand Pornography

On-Demand Pornography

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.

Sex Trafficking Cases

Sex Trafficking Cases

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)

Take Action

How To Report Suspected Sex Trafficking

TraffickCam

Help fight trafficking by uploading photos of your hotel room.

Sex Trafficking

A Subcategory of Human Trafficking, Involves the Exploitation of People in the Commercial Sex Industry

Chart of Preferred Terminology for Sex Trafficking and Prostitution

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The Violence of Prostitution

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What We Know About Sexual Exploitation In The U.S.

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