Ex-motel owner admits benefiting from sex-trafficking
NEW ORLEANS - Federal authorities say the former owner of a New Orleans motel has pleaded guilty in connection with a sex-trafficking scheme.
The Justice Department says in a Wednesday news release that 74-year-old Kanubhai Patel of Kenner pleaded guilty to one count of "benefiting financially from trafficking in persons."
Court documents show that Patel is the former owner of the Riviera Motel in eastern New Orleans. He acknowledged that he regularly rented rooms to individuals who are charged as sex trafficking co-conspirators - and that he knew they forced and coerced women to engage in prostitution.
Five other defendants have pleaded guilty in connection with the case.
Patel will be sentenced on Sept. 23. He faces a possible prison sentence of up to five years.