Berkeley parks

Berkeley couple charged with flying Texas teen to Oakland for sex trafficking

OAKLAND — A Berkeley man and woman who previously faced human trafficking charges are now charged with forcing a 17-year-old Texas girl into prostitution by bringing her from Dallas to the Bay Area, according to court records.

Chemon Parks, 23, and Kimora Ashby, 22, are now charged with trafficking a 23-year-old woman and a 17-year-old girl, as well as pimping and procuring, according to court records. They have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting a preliminary hearing where a judge will review the evidence and decide if there is enough evidence to press charges.

Parks and Ashby are each being held in lieu of $275,000 bond and are next due in court Dec. 5, records show. Ashby was no longer in custody, but prosecutors successfully raised his bail on November 8.

The new allegations came to light after Parks and Ashby were arrested in early August on suspicion of trafficking the woman who accused Parks of assaulting her last May. She implicated the two suspects during an interview at a local hospital, which led to their arrest on August 9.

But when police looked at Parks and Ashby’s phones, they saw pictures of a girl and eventually identified her as a 17-year-old who had run away from her home in Texas. Records confirmed they went to Texas, picked her up and brought her back from Dallas to the Bay Area, investigators say.

Investigators found evidence that the couple placed prostitution ads using the girls’ photos and booked hotel rooms for her. The girl alleged Parks and Ashby hit her when she said she wanted to quit sex work but managed to escape, police said.