Girl allegedly abducted, sex trafficked, sues S.A. apartment, hotel

A minor identified only as “Jane Doe” says she was abducted in late March from a San Antonio apartment complex where she was living with her mother and taken to a hotel where she was held captive, drugged and sexually assaulted as part of a human trafficking scheme.

The girl, who was 16 at the time, managed to flee three weeks later and contact police.

Now the girl’s mother has filed a lawsuit on her behalf against the apartment complex and hotel’s owners, as well as the individual accused of trafficking her.  

The suit seeks more than $1 million in damages from Westland SA 1 LLC, owner of the Amber Hill Apartments at 5335 N.W. Loop 410; Karishma Aashvi Inc., owner of the Deluxe Inn at 6815  W. U.S. 90; and Joshua Trevino, accused of committing crimes against the girl.

 “Given the explicit nature of the actions committed against Jane Doe, Plaintiff will not give a full account of the details made basis of this lawsuit in a public filing,” complaint states.

“To be clear,” it adds, “this is something she will never recover from. Every day for the rest of her life, Jane Doe will be forced to relive the memory of the three weeks she spent in a living hell.”

Trevino, 29, was arrested in April for felony sexual assault of a child. He was released from jail after his bail was lowered to $50,000 from $100,000. He declined to comment when reached by phone Tuesday. His criminal defense lawyer, R. Douglas Campbell, declined to comment because his client has not been indicted.

The arrest affidavit made no mention of sex trafficking. It said the girl had gotten into an argument with her mother and went to the apartment complex’s pool, where she went missing March 31. The girl phoned her mother April 19 to say she needed help but didn’t know which hotel she was in. She had called from an internet phone number so police were unable to trace it.

The next day, the girl fled to a nearby restaurant and asked for help. She later told police she had been sexually assaulted and pointed out the motel room. She gave police Trevino’s first name and a description of his tattoos, the affidavit said. 

Trevino arrived at the Deluxe Inn while police were executing a search warrant. He admitted to having sexual intercourse and oral sex with his accuser multiple times, but said he believed she was 18, according to the affidavit. He said the encounter was consensual. 

The Deluxe Inn was listed as the last known address for Trevino on the arrest warrant.

‘Lack of care’

Westland SA 1 is affiliated with Westland Real Estate Group, a Long Beach, Calif., company that owns and operates multifamily residential and retail properties and mobile home communities.

The girl’s mother is suing Westland SA 1 for gross negligence, premises liability and criminal nuisance. It’s accused of allowing “flagrant criminal activity to habitually exist” at Amber Hill and failing to deter criminal conduct around the time the girl was abducted, the suit says.

Dena Lerner, a Westland spokeswoman, said it had not been served with the lawsuit and was unaware of the allegations.

“We have initiated an investigation into those allegations,” she said in an email. “Westland will continue to take its residents as a first priority and will take all appropriate and reasonable steps to protect the safety of our community.” 

The lawsuit alleges Westland SA 1 “had actual knowledge of the level of violent crime occurring at the Apartments” and “did nothing to rectify the flagrant lack of security — leaving Plaintiff and all other residents vulnerable to crimes.”

“Where someone feels safe enough to abduct a young girl from a communal pool and bring her back to his apartment unit is telling of the lack of care for their tenants,” said Wesley Gould, a Houston lawyer representing the girl. 

No Amber Alerts could be found around the time the girl went missing. Gould declined to address whether an alert had been issued, saying that “providing anything that would be remotely close to identifying information is not in my client’s best interest.”

Westland operates residential housing in the South and has “a 40-plus-year history of ensuring comfortable, affordable, clean environments that foster long-term residents,” Lerner said. “A foundation of the company’s success has been a focus on long-term investment in the communities it serves, which includes taking the safety of its residents very seriously.”

‘Safe harbor’

Karishma Aashvi, the hotel owner,  has been sued for “knowingly or intentionally” participating in a “sex trafficking scheme.” Nitin Patel, the company’s principal, said he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

Hotels with 10 or more rooms require staff to undergo yearly training to help identify signs of sex trafficking on the premises, the suit notes. It was part of an anti-trafficking bill signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2021. 

During the three weeks the girl was held captive by “her assaulters” at the 98-room hotel, the suit says, no staff entered the room where she was held to clean it or check on the property. 

The suit says the Deluxe Inn is in an area that is a “safe harbor for sex trafficking.”

“The Deluxe Inn employs business practices which accommodate, and overtly encourage this type of behavior,” the lawsuit adds. “In fact, in lieu of accepting security deposits by way of a credit hard hold, Mr. Patel requires the guests to pay $60 in cash before a room is rented. It is well recognized that cash payments are prioritized over traditional, traceable transactions in criminal elements.”

The Deluxe Inn had operated as a Days Inn until about three years ago. Aashvi and Patel are currently defendants in a federal lawsuit in New Jersey brought by Days Inn Worldwide Inc. Four other individuals also are defendants.

Days Inn Worldwide alleges Aashvi’s decision to cease operating the hotel as a Days Inn was a premature termination of a 15-year franchise agreement. Days Inn seeks the payment of damages and any outstanding fees.

Lawyers for Aashvi and Patel withdrew from the case, citing their failure to communicate with counsel. The company did not hire new counsel and the defendants did not appear at court conferences, essentially bringing the case to a “standstill,” U.S. Magistrate Judge André Espinosa wrote in June 30 report and recommendation.

“We decided to stop fighting that one just because there’s no point,” Patel said.

For the defendants’ failure to participate in discovery, the judge essentially gave permission for Days Inn Worldwide to file a motion for entry of a default judgment against all defendants. The defendants, however, can oppose Espinosa’s decision, which only serves to advise the U.S. District Court judge presiding over the case.


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