Indian American ’slave’ couple: Wife jailed, husband remains on bailDecember 21st, 2007 - 5:49 pm ICT by admin
New York, Dec 21 (ANI): The wife of Indian American perfume businessman, Mahender Sabhani, has been sent to jail after her plea for bail was rejected by a Federal Court here. The couple were convicted for enslaving two Indonesian housekeepers.
Judge Arthur Spatt ordered Varsha Sabhani’s remand to custody, while allowing Mahender to return to the their lavish Muttontown home, where he will remain under house arrest.
Varsha’s bail plea was rejected, as the jury found her to be primarily responsible for inflicting punishment on the housekeepers, including beating them with broomsticks.
On Monday, the couple were convicted of 12 counts of forced labour, and could be sentenced up to 20 years in jail.
Prosecutors said the Sabhnanis enslaved the housekeepers, starved them and forced them to work at least 18 hours a day, the New York Daily News reported.
Their former Indonesian maid, Samirah, accused them of scalding her with hot water, beating and once forcing her to eat her own vomit when she choked on a punishment meal of 100 chilli peppers.
Samirah also claimed that she was repeatedly poked with a knife and that her ears were twisted until they bled. She said the fear of being abused caused her to urinate involuntarily, for which she was punished further.
The sensational case on Long Island’s Gold Coast, in the ultra-tony enclave of Muttontown, surfaced in May after Samirah escaped the couple’s mansion and was found disoriented and wandering local streets muttering, “Master.” (ANI)
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