SOUTHLAKE (CBSDFW.COM) — A 15-year-old girl from Guatemala was rescued by the Tarrant County’s Human Trafficking Unit and the Southlake Police Department last week, the sheriff’s office reported.
The teen — 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. She was provided with false documentation, allowing her to obtain a job.
The sheriff’s office said the girl made an outcry to a friend, and that friend reached out to her counselor and the Southlake Police Department. Southlake police requested assistance in investigating the incident from the TCSO Human Trafficking Unit.
During their investigation, they discovered the victim was being dropped off at the restaurant she worked at by the suspect, 36-year-old Cesar Augusto Valdez-Perez.
Valdez-Perez has been charged with trafficking a child, forced labor and two counts of fraudulent use/possession of identifying information.
He is currently in the Tarrant County Jail in lieu of a combined $16,500 bond.
This is an on-going investigation.