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Gabriel Bonilla v. Motel 6

Speaking of third-party liability for crime, consider the case of Bonilla v. Motel 6 (W.D. Pa.) via On Point.

Gabriel Bonilla was staying in Room 225 in the Motel 6 at Washington, Pennsylvania, on June 13, 2008, when he discovered that his neighbors in Room 227, Trey Willis and Richard Pruden, were filming a pornographic movie. The parties recognized the opportunity for a deal, and Bonilla won the right to have sex with the "actresses" for $30. Unfortunately, Bonilla's apparent preference for sexual activity was not on the menu, and when he persisted over the objections of the pimps, there was an altercation that resulted in Willis and Pruden slashing Bonilla with a knife and breaking his nose. Willis and Pruden are serving four to ten years for the assault, so Bonilla has sued the deep pocket, Motel 6, for failing to protect him. Federal district court Judge David Stewart Cercone, a George W. Bush appointee, rejected Motel 6's argument that "procuring sex through pimps is an illegal and obviously dangerous activity and that innkeepers cannot be held liable when a guest patronizes a prostitute and is injured as a result."

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.