Earlier this month, Jupiter’s Orchids of Asia Day Spa was raided by authorities and its owner arrested on multiple counts of prostitution and human trafficking. Sadly, this situation is not uncommon. Estimates rank Florida third in the country for suspected human trafficking and criminal sex trade cases. Palm Beach is the third largest county for these cases.
In the Orchids of Asia Day Spa case, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said many of victims immigrated from China in the hopes of taking a legitimate job in a spa. Unfortunately, once they arrived, they were forced to perform sex acts for clients. Many had their passports seized by their supervisors. They were confined to the store, sleeping and eating there when not with clients.
The criminal court system can be challenging for victims of sex trafficking, forcing them to face the accused and relive the trauma they experienced. Once the criminal aspects of the case are settled, victims may not want to pursue a civil case because they don’t want to go to court and repeat such a traumatic experience.
However, trafficking victims are frequently found in “high risk” businesses, such as day spas, seedy motels, etc. Often these businesses carry liability insurance, and the business owners were negligent. Many were even aware of the crimes taking place in their businesses and did nothing. As attorneys, we’re able to sue the defendant’s insurance company for compensation to help the trafficking victims move on with their lives.
In most cases, we do this without ever going to court, so the trafficking victim doesn’t have to deal with another difficult day in a courtroom. About 99 percent of the time, we recover compensation for the victim in the pre-trial stage.
Although securing compensation can’t erase the pain and trauma they suffered, it can ensure they have access to counseling and other mental health services to help them recover and restart their lives.
If you or someone you know was a victim of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa human trafficking and sex trade case, please consider contacting our office immediately to find out if we can represent you in a claim against the business owners. You have have the right to pursue a financial recovery for your suffering and abuse. Call us confidentially at 561-444-4440.