The owner of El Gran Tako was acquitted Thursday of four counts of human trafficking.
A Fayette Circuit Court jury Thursday found Javier Ahuatzi not guilty of four different charges related to human trafficking after a three-day trial, said Fred Peters, Ahuatzi’s attorney.
Ahuatzi is the owner of El Gran Tako, which has locations on 340 East New Circle Road and 1801 Alexandria Drive. Two employees alleged Ahuatzi had forced them to work long hours for very little pay so they could repay Ahuatzi, who footed the bill to bring them to the United States.
Ahuatzi argued the two men were allowed to go and come as they pleased and were paid for their work at his two restaurants. They had their own apartments and kept regular work hours. The two men also took vacations.
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Ahuatzi was originally arrested in June 2014. He remained free on bond while the charges were pending. The jury returned the not guilty verdict after five hours of deliberation Wednesday.