Using Civil Lawsuits to Stop Sex Trafficking and Prostitution

Very recently, more than a dozen people were arrested for prostitution in Gainesville, Georgia. The arrests included several individuals seeking sexual services in exchange for money and drugs. Seven people were charged with pandering and six people were charged with prostitution. This is certainly not the first time an undercover investigation uncovered prostitution rings in Georgia—just recently, 71 people were arrested in Atlanta, 17 people were arrested in College Park, and 15 people were arrested in Johns Creek. Frankly, the frequency of prostitution and human trafficking cases in and around Georgia are alarming. Other recent crimes in Georgia include:

Worldwide, over 100,000 children are forced into prostitution each year in the US. For those who are forced to do it—whether by others or their own economic situation—prostitution is one of the most dangerous “professions” in America. Many women get attacked physically and do not report the assaults to police because they are afraid of their handlers or worry about the response from police. Even more staggering, the death rate is 204 for every 100,000 people, which means prostitution is more dangerous than logging, fishing, or working on an oilrig.

People who have been sexually exploited have resources available to them—the Catholic Charities Atlanta is actively helping people “get out of the life.” More organization and groups can be found by clicking here. Also, civil lawyers have united together to create a program try to stop this epic problem. The program is named CLAWS: Civil Lawyers Against World Sex Slavery.

Civil lawsuits can be an important avenue for  sex trafficking survivors wanting help against their handlers, hotels and apartments where it occurred, “johns” or customers, or any person or group involved. Especially when a criminal case is not brought, then the victim’s only chance to receive justice is through a civil case may be the only way a trafficker is held accountable for harm caused. The trouble is that while victims may be able to receive victim compensation funds or restitution, often the total recovery allowed under the law is not enough to fully compensate the survivor for the harm. In Georgia, survivors may be able to obtain compensatory damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief, and attorney’s fees. Georgia law has recently changed, so now it is easier for victims to bring civil lawsuits—the new law is named the Civil Predator Act.

Georgia’s Civil Predator Act—2 key points:

  1. A victim must file a lawsuit by the age of 23, or within two years from the date he or she knew or had reason to know of the abuse and the injury caused from the abuse, which must be verified by medical or psychological evidence.
  2. A victims who is suing for childhood sexual abuse to access records and reports concerning the abuse that state or local governments possess.

A victim may be able to bring both state and federal claims against the perpetrator. State claims may include intentional torts and civil causes of action for criminal activity. Federal claims may consist of civil actions for violations of the anti-sex trafficking statute and other laws.

Types of Civil Lawsuit Allegations:

  • State Intentional Tort Claims:
    • Assault
    • Battery
    • False Imprisonment
    • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • State Violations of a Criminal Law
  • Federal Claims
    • Against the perpetrator and whomever knowingly benefitted from the trafficking. 18 USC § 1595.
    • A minor victim who suffered a personal injury may bring a claim. 18 USC § 2255.

The Rafi Law Firm fights for crime victims against perpetrators and handlers, as well as hotels, apartments, and other businesses that allow sex trafficking and other dangerous activity to happen—contact us and we may be able to help you. Importantly, your conversations with lawyers at the Rafi Law Firm and all communications about your case will be kept confidential.

2018-02-27T11:48:13+00:00