The Richmond Register

July 1, 2013

Human-trafficking trial is delayed

By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — The trial of a couple accused of sex trafficking their daughters has been pushed back to October.

Kathy and Anthony Hart were set to be tried June 10. However, several issues surrounding testimony that will be permitted at the trial have not yet been settled.

The Harts have pleaded not guilty to charges of human trafficking, two counts each of first-degree illegal transaction with a minor (illegal sex act involving child under 16) and use of a minor under 16 in a sexual performance.

Human trafficking is a Class B felony which is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison.

He original indictment on charges of human trafficking stated the Harts provided their two 13- and 14-year-old daughters to older men for companionship from October 2009 to February 2011 in exchange for “money and goods.”

At a status hearing last week, Madison Circuit Court Judge Jean C. Logue rescheduled the trial for 9 a.m. Oct. 14.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith said it’s expected that Kathy Hart’s attorney, Mark J. Stanziano, will file additional motions in the case.

Stanziano filed a motion last year notifying the court he planned on using mental health information in his client’s defense. Logue has previously ruled that Kathy Hart was competent to stand trial based on a state psychologist’s evaluation.

However, Stanziano stated in his motion that eight years ago, Kathy Hart was found incompetent to stand trial in a Boyle County criminal case because of her low IQ.

Logue has not yet ruled on the use of the character evidence in Kathy Hart’s defense.

Both the young girls involved in the case have been in foster care since the Harts were arrested in February 2011. Anthony Hart remains in the Madison County Detention Center while Kathy Hart was released on bond.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@

richmondregister.com

or 624-6694.