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Philly motel sued in 1st reported human-trafficking lawsuit under Pa. statute

March 10, 2017 GMT

By Staff

A lawsuit filed in Philadelphia on Friday accuses the Roosevelt Inn in Northeast Philadelphia of regularly providing rooms to human traffickers who exploit girls, forcing them to be prostitutes.

The complaint, filed on behalf of a Philadelphia girl, who was 14 years old when she was forced into the illegal sex trade in 2013 and exploited for two years, is the first such lawsuit of its kind under Pennsylvania’s 2014 human trafficking statute, her attorneys say.

“This lawsuit is the first among many to come that will hold hotel and motel owners, among others, accountable when they knowingly allow victimization of the most vulnerable in our society,” plaintiff’s attorney, Tom Kline, of Philadelphia-based Kline & Specter PC, said in a statement.

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The suit, filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, names as defendants the Roosevelt Inn, on the 7600 block of Roosevelt Boulevard in Rhawnhurst; Yagna Patel, its manager; and the motel’s parent company, UFVS Management Company, of Purchase, N.Y.

The suit contends that the teenage girl, now 17, was enslaved and forced to perform sexual acts with men in 2013 and 2014 at the motel, and that the motel — for its own financial gain — regularly provided rooms to her traffickers.

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