By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer
The trial of two parents accused of sex-trafficking their teenage daughters has been pushed back to June because of new evidence recently uncovered in the case.
Kathy Hart, 45, and Anthony Wayne Hart, 48, were scheduled to stand trial Monday on charges of human trafficking. However, the Harts were indicted in December on 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.
The Harts have pleaded not guilty on all charges.
A motion was filed by the defense to continue the case, and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith agreed there were “good grounds” to do so in light of the new charges.
Judge Jean C. Logue set the trial for 9 a.m. June 10. It is expected to last four days.
The original indictment on charges of human trafficking stated the Harts provided their 13- and 14-year-old daughters to older men for companionship from October 2009 to February 2011 in exchange for “money and goods.”
In recent interviews with the children, who have been in foster care, the Berea detective who investigated the case was able to uncover evidence of sex crimes that occurred when the girls were with the adult men, according to Smith. This led to additional charges being brought against the Harts.
Anthony Hart has been in jail since his arrest in February 2011, but Kathy Hart was out on bond until November when court officials reported she failed a drug test.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6694.