A lot of people thought that prostitution was a victimless crime.
But the curtain has been pulled back. It’s apparent now that most prostitutes are victims of sex trafficking And there’s a grotesque underbelly that involves children (that can hardly be characterized as prostitutes).
In many cases involving crime there’s no one to sue. A crew of wild-eyed meth users or members of the Grape Street Crips aren’t going to be able to pay a judgment.
But sex trafficking is different.
There are a lot of powerful people involved in sex trafficking. And maybe more importantly, there are a lot of businesses involved in sex trafficking. We’ve heard about the role Backpage.com played. But it’s gone and the problem persists.
Now businesses like Marriott are being sued (and settling cases) that call out the hotels’ knowing participation or willful blindness to the exploitation.
There’s more than enough blame to go around. There are the perpetrators. They deserve most of the blame. But there are also the people and businesses on the periphery who have profited from the perpetrators’ conduct and, more importantly, the victims’ pain.
There’s hope for these cases. They need and deserved to be pursued.