Lawsuit: Motel, hotels should be held accountable for sex trafficking on their properties

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The family of an Albuquerque sex trafficking victim is suing, but they’re not suing the people responsible for her death. They believe some businesses profited from her pain and they want them to be held accountable.

“Tobi Stanfill’s family is devastated,” says Laura Schauer-Ives.

In 2017, police say 20-year old Tobi Stanfill was shot to death and then dumped in a Foothills park. She was a victim of a sex trafficking ring.

Cornelius and Danielle Galloway, Matthew Woods, and Adrian Causey were all arrested in connection with the ring and her murder. Stanfill’s family attorney, Schauer-Ives, says they’re not the only ones who should pay.

“Tobi Stanfill was trafficked out of this motel and out of this hotel. The corporations made money from this,” she says.

According to the lawsuit, Stanfill was trafficked out of the Motel 6 near I-40 and University, and the Howard Johnson near I-25 and Lomas, using online ads. Schauer-Ives says the staff at both businesses should’ve seen the signs that Stanfill was a trafficking victim.

“There was a dog cage in the room. They had rented out multiple rooms. People had to have been going on and off the property all day long,” she says.

Had the employees noticed the signs, Schauer-Ives believes Stanfill would still be alive today.

“They absolutely under the law have a duty to protect the people on their property,” she says.

In a statement to KRQE News 13, a representative for Howard Johnson says the company condemns human trafficking and are working to enhance their policies and train their employees to identify and report any trafficking activities. The company would not comment on this particular case.

KRQE News 13 also reached out to the Motel 6 to get a comment, but did not hear back in time for the story.

The four people accused of sex trafficking Stanfill are scheduled to go on trial in May 2020.

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