Reposted from Hotze Runkle Law Firm
HOUSTON, TX – The mother of 21-year-old Natalie Irene Fisher, who was murdered in Houston in September of 2016, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the woman’s two children.
Janiece Charleze’s lawsuit is the first civil action of its kind benefitting victims utilizing the Texas 2009 human trafficking statute. The law allows for compensation for victims against those who profit from human trafficking.
Janiece Charleze alleges in the suit that Fisher was trafficked for two years, largely through the Plainfield Inn off of Bissonet and Beltway 8 in Houston; her body was found in a ditch less than 10 miles from the motel.
“In 2009 the Texas legislature made businesses that intentionally and knowingly benefit from the trafficking of another person civilly liable,” says Ross Bussard of Hotze Runkle law firm, Janiece Charleze’s attorney. “Economic bondage tying the victim to the trafficker is just one of the ways perpetrators keep people in servitude. Texas law provides these victims a chance at a life free of sexual slavery.”
“We learned too late about this to save my daughter,” says Janiece Charleze. “Had I known we could have held these hotel owners accountable for turning a blind eye to Natalie’s suffering, we could have gotten her away from her traffickers. She tried to leave so many times but by then she was so emotionally and physically abused she couldn’t see that there was any life left for her outside of what she was doing.”
The Plainfield Inn was the subject of more than 400 calls since 2014 involving violent assaults, prostitution arrests, drug offenses, weapons offenses, armed robberies, and theft, per the lawsuit.
About the Hotze Runkle Law Firm: Hotze Runkle Law Firm is committed to helping those who have suffered harm at the hands of others. As victims and their families face challenges, Hotze Runkle makes every effort to provide dedicated, aggressive representation in order to pursue justice.
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