Mavericks Named as Party That Could Have Prevented Sex Trafficking of Girl from Game

Adam WellsMay 12, 2022

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 27: Close up of the Dallas Mavericks logo during the game against the Houston Rockets on December 27, 2016 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images)
Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks were listed by an attorney's office as a party that could have prevented the sex trafficking of a teenage girl. 

Per Morgan Young of ABC KVUE in Austin, Texas, attorney Zeke Fortenberry listed the Mavs, American Airlines Center, Dallas Police Department and an Oklahoma City hotel where the 15-year-old girl was found as parties who could have prevented the situation. 

According to Paul Livengood of KVUE, eight people were arrested in Oklahoma City after a teenage girl who attended a Mavericks game on April 8 was found 10 days later. 

North Richland Hills police said the girl went to a restroom during the game but never returned to her seat. Young noted surveillance footage showed her leaving the arena with a man. 

The Mavs and American Airlines Center were listed because, according to Fortenberry, the man who left with the girl got into the game with a fake ticket he purchased from someone who is known by both organizations for selling counterfeit tickets.  

Three of the men arrested were charged with human trafficking and distribution of child pornography. One was charged with offering to engage in prostitution, and another was charged with second-degree rape. 

According to Young, the girl was found in an Oklahoma City hotel room by police after "her parents identified her through nude photos that had been posted online in sex advertisements."

Fortenberry told Young the girl's father told police at the Mavericks game his daughter was missing, but they told him to report it to the North Richland Hills Police since that's where the family lives. 

"Our intent is to put [these organizations] on notice that we’re pursuing claims against them for their negligence and other causes of action," Fortenberry said. 

The Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative, a Houston-based anti-trafficking agency, helped to find the girl using facial-recognition technology. 

According to Young, Fortenberry has yet to hear from any of the parties named in the letter but he hopes to "within the next month, so the situation can be settled without a lawsuit."