While New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft had reason to celebrate after his team’s historic win in Super Bowl LIII, his legacy may be forever stained by criminal charges brought against him for allegedly soliciting prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Kraft originally pleaded not guilty to the charges and subsequently rejected a deal offered by the Florida prosecutors. To be clear, Kraft is not facing human trafficking charges but the charges brought against him did stem from a broad investigation into prostitution and human trafficking in Florida.
Florida’s crackdown on human trafficking as well as the 169 sex-trafficking-related arrests made in or around Atlanta on the day leading up to Super Bowl LIII are a stark reminder of the evil that is present in our world. It was no coincidence that the sting coincided with Super Bowl LIII, as law enforcement expected a surge in sex trafficking due to the increase in visitors from out of state. All told, the arrests included 26 sex traffickers as well as 34 individuals caught attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor. Nine different under-aged victims were recovered during the operation, with the youngest only 14 years of age.
The joint operation involved a wide array of law enforcement groups. It was headed by the Violent Crimes Against Children/Human Trafficking Program Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation (MATCH) Task Force. The task force includes other entities like the FBI, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, the GBI, and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.
How to Help Stop Child Sex Slavery
There are several ways that each and every one of us can help reduce this horrific epidemic of sex slavery in Georgia and across the United States. First, we can donate to CLAWS (Civil Lawyers Against World Sex Slavery). CLAWS is a non-profit organization that uses the civil justice system to bring pro bono lawsuits on behalf of survivors of sex slavery. We should also contact our elected officials and let them know that stopping child sex trafficking should be a top priority when passing laws and formulating state and federal budgets. A good resource for finding your elected officials can be found here.
Collateral Consequences & Negligent Security Lawsuits
The effects of these arrests reach beyond those directly involved in criminal conduct. For example, property owners and occupiers could also face civil liability in a negligent security premises liability lawsuit brought by the crime victim. That’s because Georgia statutory law, O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1, requires the owners and occupiers of property to use ordinary care in keeping their premises safe for tenants and visitors.
Similar to a slip and fall case, liability of the owner or occupier is contingent upon actual or constructive knowledge of the danger as well as foreseeability. In Georgia, a property owner or occupier may be liable for criminal acts occurring on its property if the occurrence of crime was foreseeable. See e.g. Walker v. Aderhold Properties, 303 Ga. App. 710, 712-13 (2010).
Foreseeability may be established in many ways, one of which is through evidence of similar criminal activity occurring on a property. Suppose a hotel owner knows that its property has been a hotbed of criminal activity including shootings, sex crimes, and other violent offenses. If the hotel owner does not take reasonable measures to protect its guest from the criminals that frequent the property and a guest is attacked by one of these criminals, the victim may bring a negligent security lawsuit against the hotel owner or manager.
The same civil laws apply if a hotel owner or manager knows or should know that children are being sold for sex on its property. In those circumstances, the owner or manager has a duty to take reasonable security measures to guard against this type of despicable activity. If the owner or manager does not take reasonable action to stop this activity from occurring, the victim could bring a negligent security lawsuit against the hotel owner or occupier.
Negligent Security Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a violent crime at an apartment, hotel, or other commercial establishment, you should always report the incident to the proper authorities. You may also want to consider contacting a negligent security attorney to see if you have a valid claim for civil damages. If the case is strong, a negligent security attorney can bring a lawsuit against the apartment complex or hotel in an effort to obtain compensation for the injuries caused by the lack of proper security.
If you would like to learn more about negligent security lawsuits in Georgia before you contact a law firm, you can watch this YouTube video where I explain negligent security claims in more detail. When you are ready to speak with a negligent security attorney, you can contact our office for a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.