Three members of a Pakistani-American family were sentenced to prison terms this week for their role in keeping a woman from Pakistan in forced labor at their home for more than 12 years.
The case, described as “modern-day slavery” by US federal authorities, involved the victim, who had married into the family.
According to court documents, in 2002, the victim married Aman’s son and the brother of defendants Nauman and Rehan Chaudhri. Thereafter, she lived in their home. Over the next 12 years, the three defendants forced her to perform domestic services, using verbal and physical abuse to coerce her labor. The defendants also threatened to separate the victim from her children and deport her if she did not obey their demands.
The defendants were sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to 12 years, with Aman and Rehan Chaudhri ordered to pay the victim around $250,000 in restitution for back wages and other financial losses incurred as a result of their criminal conduct.
The victim’s 12-year ordeal was marked by physical and emotional abuse, including being beaten with a wooden board and hog-tied and dragged down the stairs in front of her children. The defendants also banished the victim to a basement, limiting her access to food and basic human interactions and further separating her from her children.
The victim’s desperation led her to attempt suicide twice, and she lost 60 pounds and clumps of her hair during the 12-year ordeal. Her husband’s family convinced her children that she was a monster, forcing them to spit on her. The victim was eventually able to escape in May 2016, with the help of her brother and local police. She currently lives in Connecticut with her four children.
The case serves as a reminder of the horrific reality of modern-day slavery and the need for continued efforts to combat this heinous crime. It also highlights the importance of protecting immigrants and ensuring that their rights are respected, even when they may be in a vulnerable position.