The office of Cobb County DA Vic Reynolds announced in a news release posted to his Facebook page that a Windy Hill Road motel was put on notice over drug arrests and suspected sex trafficking occurring on its premises. Under the terms of a court-approved agreement the operator of the motel must take steps to make a list of specified changes or risk forfeiture of the property.
“This case is a great example of law enforcement and prosecutors utilizing every tool available to make sure children will not be sold for sex in Cobb County,” DA Reynolds said in a Friday press release. “I am very proud of this result.”
The changes the motel operator is required to make include “contacting and cooperating with police regarding any suspected criminal activity there; requiring valid photo identification of all patrons; maintaining complete and accurate guest rosters as well as a ‘no rent’ list of people previously arrested there; requiring all staff to undergo training to recognize and prevent human trafficking; hiring at least one licensed and armed security guard; installing proper outdoor lighting, high-quality video surveillance, and fencing; and disallowing loitering.”
The action was filed as a civil suit in Cobb County Superior Court under Georgia’s nuisance laws.
The press release states, “In one particular instance in October 2017, Cobb Police arrested Anthony Dobson on felony drug charges at The Masters Inn. While there, police found evidence that Dobson had been holding a female against her will and trafficking her for sex out of his room. The woman was rescued from the situation but refused to go on record against Dobson because she feared for her life. Dobson had also been arrested for drugs at the same location the month prior.”
The suit was aided by the efforts of an Atlanta-based nonprofit known as CLAWS – Civil Lawyers Against World Sex Slavery. Two lawyers from the organization, civil attorneys Jason Nohr, of Marietta, and Karine Burney, of Atlanta, were sworn in as Special Assistant District Attorneys for this case.
“This suit is one of the first of its kind in Georgia,” Nohr said in the press release. “Human trafficking is such a gut-wrenching crisis and we know, unfortunately, that Atlanta is a hub for this activity. Although criminals are prosecuted, the crime doesn’t stop as long as they have safe harbor with hotel operators who look the other way. We believe this is the first step in an exciting, creative partnership with the DA’s Office to make a real impact on this crisis.”