January 29, 2020

A Scores strip club in Florida hired a “severely” disabled 17-year-old sex trafficking victim with a fake ID and allowed her to be groped and molested by adult men, a scathing lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges.

The victim, identified in court papers as Jane Doe, was developmentally 13-years-old when her trafficker brought her to the chain’s Tampa location, according to the lawsuit, filed in the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, Florida, and Doe’s lawyer, Michael Dolce of the Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll law firm.

Within “30 minutes” of walking in the door back in September 2017, Scores hired the minor and threw her on stage, according to the suit.

Doe, who qualified for special-education and spent time in and out of mental health facilities, met the trafficker that brought her to Scores while she was at a drug-rehab clinic, according to Dolce and a criminal report affidavit against the trafficker, who was charged with human trafficking.

Doe returned to live with her parents in August 2017 but with Torres’s help, she allegedly ran away from home about a month later and met up with him in Tampa where he bought her $200 worth of stripper gear, according to Dolce and police records.

“The first couple of clubs they go to just basically throw her out the door,” Dolce said. But when the two got to Scores, Doe was hired on the spot according to the suit.

A “house mom” in charge of dancers took a fake ID Torres instructed Doe to bring and signed her on to work, even though the person in the ID was taller than Doe, had a different shaped face, eye color, ethnicity and skin complexion, the lawsuit claims.

“They didn’t know who she was, she just showed up. She was just brought into town,” Dolce added.

“You have a young person who comes in, they give you a cellphone number that has a different area code than the address on the ID, the address on the ID is over 70 miles from where you’re sitting. There’s a couple of red flags here to think about.”

The lawsuit is seeking an undisclosed amount of damages from Scores and argues they should’ve done more to keep Doe safe and should’ve known she was a trafficking victim.

“That’s something that you need to be cognizant of and guard against if you really want to be running a lawful place that does not run the risk of exposing minors to these types of problems,” Dolce said.

“[Doe] ended up having to spend a substantial amount of time in a residential treatment programs for all the traumas that were associated with this and is still actively engaged in mental health treatment efforts that have taken months and months and months of inpatient care, and months and months a month of outpatient care and regular therapy on a weekly basis and sometimes more, just to deal with a variety of issues here.”

The complete article can be accessed here.