United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
Dennis Saylor, United States District Judge.
an action arising under the Victims of Trafficking and
Violence Protection Act of 2000 (“TVPA”) and the
Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003
(“TVPRA”). Plaintiff Lisa Ricchio alleges that
she was taken hostage in June 2011 at the Shangri-La Motel in
Seekonk, Massachusetts, by defendant Clark McLean, who raped
and abused her for a period of several days. Defendant Bijal,
Inc. owns the motel. Defendants Ashvinkumar and Sima Patel
worked and lived at the motel at the time of Ricchio's
alleged captivity. The complaint alleges, in substance, that
defendants knowingly benefitted from the sex trafficking
activities of McLean.
Inc. and the Patels have filed a motion for summary judgment.
For the following reasons, the motion will be denied.
Local Rule 56.1, a party moving for summary judgment is
required to “include a concise statement of the
material facts of the record as to which [they] contend
there is no genuine issue to be tried, ” “with
page references to affidavits, depositions, and other
documentation.” The statement of material facts
submitted by defendants, who are the moving parties, does not
satisfy that standard. Rather than identifying specific
material facts with specific citations to the record,
defendants instead provide blanket references to what they
contend are “material portions” of various
depositions. Although the motion could be denied simply for
failure to comply with the rule, the Court has nonetheless
attempted to determine, based on its own examination of the
record, whether there is a genuine dispute of material fact.
The Shangri-La Motel
Shangri-La Motel in Seekonk, Massachusetts, is owned by
Bijal, Inc. (Ila Patel Dep. at 16). Bijal is owned by Ila
Patel. (Id. at 15-16). Ila Patel is married to
Shailesh (Sunny) Patel. (Id. at 16). Ashvinkumar
(Ashvin) Patel is Sunny Patel's first cousin. (Sunny
Patel Dep. at 18). Ashvin Patel is married to Sima Patel.
Patel bought the Shangri-La Motel with her then-husband in
1984. (Ila Patel Dep. at 17). In 1988, Ila and her husband
established Bijal for the purpose of running the Shangri-La
Motel. (Id.). Ila's husband passed away in 1992.
(Id. at 36).
Patel arrived in the United States in 1995. (Sunny Patel Dep.
at 10). In 1996, he married Ila. (Id.). After
marrying Ila, Sunny started working with her at the motel.
(Id. at 11). The two of them also began living
together at the motel and remained living there until 2003.
(Id. at 14).
2003, Ila and Sunny moved from the motel to a house Sunny had
purchased, and Ashvin Patel and his wife Sima began working
and living at the motel. (Ashvin Patel Dep. at 11,
Ila remained the motel's manager, and Ashvin and Sima
performed cleaning and maintenance work. (Id. at 18,
20). At times, Ashvin and Sima would “fill in”
for Ila and help check-in customers. (Id.). In
return for their work, Asvhin and Sima were paid a yearly
salary by Bijal and provided with free lodging at the motel.
(Id. at 26-28; Sima Patel Dep. at 29-31).
The Events of June 2011
2010, Lisa Ricchio was living in Maine. She met a man named
Clark McLean through one of McLean's “drug
customer[s]” during the winter of 2010. (McLean Dep. at
24, 42). McLean did not tell Ricchio his real name, and
instead told her that his name was “A, ”
“Antoin Hobson, ” or “Adrian Hobbs.”
(Ricchio Test'y at 14; McLean Dep. at 25).
meeting, McLean would call or text Ricchio from “time
to time.” (McLean Dep. at 89). McLean, who lived in
Taunton, Massachusetts, would travel frequently to Maine for
his “drug dealing” business. (Id. at 89,
98). He would see Ricchio while he was in Maine.
(Id. at 89). The two eventually developed a
relationship. (Ricchio Test'y at 13; McLean Dep. at 90).
2011, Ricchio attended what she calls a “healthy living
program” in Utah to “manage [her] chronic and
daily pain, and to get off . . . all my narcotics . . . and
all my medications.” (Ricchio Test'y at 15).
Ricchio and McLean continued to text and call each other
while she was in Utah. (Id. at 19). Around the end
of May, she “graduated” from the program and
returned to Maine. (Id. at 20, 24).
1, 2011, McLean called Ricchio and asked her to visit him in
Massachusetts. (Ricchio Test'y at 22-23; McLean Dep. at
93). Ricchio contends that he was “very upset”
and “crying, ” and that he told her that he had
cancer. (Ricchio Test'y at 23). McLean denies doing so.
(McLean Dep. at 94).
drove to Massachusetts to see McLean. (Ricchio Test'y at
25-26). According to McLean, she met him on Pine Street in
Taunton. (McLean Dep. at 167).
to Ricchio, McLean told her to enter the driver seat of his
car and begin driving. (Ricchio Test'y at
McLean gave her directions, and they ...