2 Lowcountry women charged in human trafficking investigation
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division have arrested two women on multiple charges related to human trafficking.
Elvira Teordoa Lopez Aguilar, 36, of North Charleston; and Marisol Hernandez Perianez. 29, of Hanahan, have been booked into the Dorchester County Detention Center, SLED spokesperson Renée Wunderlich said.
Aguilar is charged with four counts of unlawful conduct towards a child, four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and four counts of trafficking in persons, with a victim under the age of 18 (first offense); Perianez is charged with four counts of trafficking in persons, with a victim under the age of 18 (first offense) and four counts of trafficking in persons, use of business in violation of Article 19, court documents state.
Affidavits state that between July 1 of last year and March 9 of this year, a child was placed at “unreasonable risk of harm” at Aguilar’s home in North Charleston where they were subjected to “deplorable living conditions, poor hygiene and threats and use of physical harm” and were “caused or forced to become habitually truant” because of being forced to work illegal hours of employment. The affidavits also state a child was recruited or transported “for the purposes of forced labor or services, involuntary servitude or debt bondage.” The forced labor took place in West Ashley, court documents state.
Perianez is accused of forcing four child victims during the same timeframe into forced labor involving a cleaning company for which Perianez was the registered agent and owner/operator of, court documents state. The forced labor in these cases also took place in West Ashley, investigators say.
The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office will prosecute the case.
Wunderlich says they received help in the investigation from the members of the South Carolina State and the Tri-County Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, the South Carolina Department of Social Services, the state Attorney General’s Office, the South Carolina Department of Labor, the Office of Immigration, Child Labor & Wages, Homeland Security Investigations Charleston, the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, the North Charleston Police Department, the Charleston Police Department, and the Dorchester Child Advocacy Center.
Click here to learn more about South Carolina’s Human Trafficking Task Force:
If you have information about a potential human trafficking case, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or Text: 233733.
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