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The family of a Texas teenager who was kidnapped from a Mavericks game in Dallas on April 8, 2022, and trafficked to Oklahoma City over a 10-day period is now suing the hotel where she was assaulted.

Later that month, Oklahoma City authorities arrested eight suspects in connection with the crime, including Kenneth Levan Nelson, who allegedly advertised photos of the victim online. One Texas suspect involved in the apparent trafficking ring was arrested in January 2023 but has since walked free from the case.

"On behalf of the family, our most important concern was that the bad guys were held accountable in the criminal justice system, so we waited for that to happen … and now we can think about turning our attention to corporate responsibility," Zeke Fortenberry, the family's attorney, told Fox News Digital.

The victim "was given alcohol and numerous narcotics, including methamphetamines" and the Texas suspect allegedly sold the victim to an "unknown adult male who transported her from Dallas, Texas to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma." She was then taken to Nelson, a convicted sex offender, according to the complaint.

DA FAILS TO PROSECUTE SUSPECTED SEX TRAFFICKER, SPARKING QUESTIONS

Headshots of 8 individuals connected to sex trafficking a 15-year-old girl.

Oklahoma City police arrested Saniya Alexander, Melissa Wheeler, Chevaun Gibson, Kenneth Nelson, Sarah Hayes, Karen Gonzales, Thalia Gibson and Steven Hill in connection to the trafficking case of a 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped from a Dallas Mavericks game in April 2022. (Oklahoma City Detention Center)

Nelson "rented at least two hotel rooms" at the Extended Stay America - Oklahoma City - Airport Hotel "and was associated with at least two other hotel rooms" under a false name, the lawsuit states. The lawsuit also names the Plano-based hospitality group Aimbridge, which employs the workers at the Oklahoma City hotel, among other defendants.

The victim's family is arguing that the hotel and its parent company profited off the trafficking case while Nelson paid for multiple rooms to hold and sell trafficking victims, both women and minors, for the purpose of prostitution, the lawsuit states.

Some of Nelson's "male acquaintances patrolled the hotel hallway with an AK-47 style assault rifle," the complaint says.

MAN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED TEXAS GIRL AFTER TAKING HER FROM DALLAS MAVERICKS GAME IN TRAFFICKING SCHEME: POLICE

"In this case, it was overwhelming, the amount of red flags that should have been noticed. Someone could have stepped in and helped my client get out of this terrible situation," Fortenberry said, adding that the hotel had reviews complaining of prostitution prior to the 15-year-old girl being trafficked.

The complaint alleges that there were many signs of trafficking the hotel should have noticed and made efforts to stop by contacting authorities, including surveillance video footage showing the victim, high on drugs, "staggering" down the hotel's hallways and women being escorted down the hallways by one man.

A negative review for the ESA - Oklahoma City Airport Hotel describes prostitution taking place inside the establishment.

A negative review for the Extended Stay America - Oklahoma City - Airport Hotel describes prostitution taking place inside the establishment. (Dallas County lawsuit)

A hotel manager also apparently saw the victim "visibly upset and crying" in the hotel lobby but did nothing as two of Nelson's acquaintances escorted her back to a hotel room.

"Defendant Hotel Manager’s employees either failed to recognize the signs of human trafficking or chose to turn a blind eye and ignore what was happening to Plaintiff N.C. and never made any report of human trafficking," the suit states.

Meanwhile, ESA Hotels has a page on its website dedicated to "Human Trafficking Prevention."

TEXAS GIRL, 15, TRAFFICKED FROM MAVERICKS GAME IN DALLAS; 8 ARRESTED IN OKLAHOMA: POLICE

"January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, dedicated to [raising] awareness about human trafficking and educate the public about how to identify, prevent and respond to this crime," the webpage reads. "Extended Stay America is committed to the fight to end human trafficking all year round. It's critical for everyone to be able to identify the signs and know how to respond if you suspect an individual is being trafficked."

Fortenberry said that while ESA "may have these corporate policies at headquarters, it’s not implemented on the ground, and that's where it needs to be focused on the most."

Front facade of the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

Oklahoma City authorities have arrested and charged eight suspects after a 15-year-old Texas girl was allegedly trafficked from a Mavericks game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on April 8, 2022. (Getty Images )

Fortenberry's lawsuit notes that in 2019, it was "estimated that human trafficking from sexual exploitation brought profits of $99 billion a year" and "hotels are the primary place where sex trafficking activities (sex acts) occur."

The defendants in the lawsuit could not be reached for comment.

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The trafficking case is complicated and wrought with lots of moving parts and conflicting information.

The victim's family said early on that the 15-year-old victim left the game to use the bathroom, where they believed she was kidnapped and trafficked. Dallas police later revealed that the girl met a suspect outside the arena, at which point he kidnapped her.

"The victim met the suspect outside the location who then took the victim to an unknown house in the City of Dallas and sexually assaulted the victim," Dallas police said at the time.

TEXAS GIRL TRAFFICKED FROM DALLAS MAVERICKS GAME LISTED AS A 'RUNAWAY' BEFORE NUDE PHOTOS SURFACED

The victim's family also took issue with the department's decision to categorize the girl's disappearance as a runaway; Dallas police said the designation is routine unless there is clear evidence that a victim was taken against his or her will.

The case remained designated as a runaway until the Oklahoma City Police Department discovered indecent "online ads featuring recent photos of the missing juvenile." When Oklahoma authorities found the victim on April 18, 10 days after she vanished from the Mavericks game, Dallas police reportedly did not travel to Oklahoma City to interview the victim, according to Fortenberry.

mugshot of man

Emanuel Jose Cartagena was arrested on Jan. 26, 2023, on a felony warrant for allegedly sexually assaulting a then-15-year-old girl. (FOX 4 Dallas)

In October of last year, a Dallas County grand jury declined to indict the now-34-year-old suspect, Emanuel Jose Cartagena, citing a lack of evidence to charge him with sexual assault of a child. The Dallas Police Department initially arrested Cartagena in January 2023. He had been on parole for two months at the time he allegedly trafficked the 15-year-old victim in this case. 

Cartagena was convicted in a 2016 case of promoting the prostitution of a person under age 18.

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"I was astounded," the girl’s mother told Texas Scorecard of various missteps taken in the case, adding later on that her daughter was too young to consent to sex and picked Cartagena out of a lineup, yet the Dallas County grand jury still sided with Cartagena.

"We're very frustrated with the criminal process in Dallas, and we still hope for the prosecution to bring justice in some way, shape or form against Cartagena and his associates," Fortenberry said. The grand jury did not see "all the evidence" or see any interviews with the victim, he said.

Fox News' Michael Dorgan contributed to this report.