Criminal case dismissed against SCV woman accused of human trafficking



The criminal case against a Santa Clarita woman – one of three people arrested last year on suspicion of human trafficking – has been dismissed.

A year ago, Ashley Peart, now 27, and two men were taken into custody by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Taskforce,

On Thursday, the three suspects appeared in San Fernando Superior Court for a preliminary hearing but only the men were ordered to stand trial.

During that hearing, prosecutors presented evidence in the case after which the judge decided if the case should go to trial.

At the close of that hearing, the judge dismissed the case against Peart, finding there was enough evidence against her two co-defendants to have them answer to the criminal charges filed against them.

The case filed by Los Angeles County District Attorney prosecutors against Peart was dismissed.

The case against Michael Shaw, 37, of Santa Clarita and Eric Hamwey, 31, of Encino, is now scheduled to move forward.

The two men face a variety of criminal charges and were ordered to return to court on June 1 for their second arraignment, DA spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani told The Signal Friday.

Shaw is scheduled to be arraigned on criminal charges that include: two counts each of human trafficking to commit another crime and pimping.  He also faces three counts of possession of firearm by a felon and a charge of pandering by procuring.

Hamwey is scheduled to be formally charged on June 1 with human trafficking to commit and other crime, pandering by procuring and pimping.

Shaw was arrested on May 5, 2016, after deputies responding to a call determined he was trafficking an adult victim for sex and had violently assaulted her, according to a news release issued by sheriff’s Deputy Lisa Jansen in May last year.

Shaw had fled the location before deputies arrived, and the victim attempted to flee as well, according to a news release issued by Los Angeles County Sheriff Department Deputy Lisa Jansen in May last year.

Taskforce detectives learned Hamwey had previously befriended the victim on Instagram and flown her to California from Texas for the purpose of commercial adult sex work, the deputy wrote.

After a short time, Hamwey reportedly “sold” the victim to Shaw.

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