The LA District attorney has decided not to pursue criminal charges against a Santa Clarita restaurant owner accused of human trafficking and involuntary servitude.
“The case was reviewed for filing consideration but was declined due to lack of sufficient evidence.” District Attorney spokesman Ricardo Santiago told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.
The Department of Homeland Security will continue its investigation and determine whether federal charges will be pursued.
Pardeep Kumar, the owner of Tandoori Grill, was released on Thursday and has reopened his restaurant, but declined to comment on the allegations.
Kumar, 47, of Newhall was arrested after Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detectives spoke with one of his employees. The employee, a chef, accused Kumar of forcing him to work 12 to 14 hour days without pay over the last three years.
The employee said that while being physically abused and forced to live in the restaurant owner’s home, he was driven directly to and from work, without any communication to the outside world.
A fellow employee contacted the alleged victim’s brother in Mumbai, India and told him of the situation via email. The accusers brother then alerted authorities.