15-YEAR OLD PULLED FROM HUMAN TRAFFICKING
A fifteen-year-old child from Guatemala was rescued by the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office Human Trafficking Unit and the Southlake Police Department last week. The child, who was the victim of human trafficking, was brought into the United States illegally and was being forced to work at a local restaurant in order to pay a $10,000 debt that was incurred for bringing her across the border. The child was provided false documentation allowing her to obtain the job needed to work off the debt.
The child made an outcry to a friend, and that friend reached out to her counselor and the Southlake P.D. The Southlake P.D. requested assistance in investigating the incident from the TCSO Human Trafficking Unit. Upon investigation it appeared the suspect was dropping the victim off at the restaurant in the evening and had the child working there throughout the night.
The suspect has been identified as Cesar Augusto Valdez-Perez, with a DOB of October 13, 1982. He has been charged with Trafficking a Child – Forced Labor, and two counts of Fraudulent Use/Possession of Identifying Information. His bonds were set at; $15,000 for the trafficking charge, and $1,500 for each of the fraudulent ID charges. An immigration hold was placed on the suspect upon entering the Tarrant County Jail. The investigation is on-going in this case.
When asked, Sheriff Waybourn said; “Exploitation of a child, and human trafficking are both unacceptable. As adults we all should do everything possible to protect children. We don’t know what long term trauma has been done to this child by these actions