Last Updated: Monday, 17 December 2007, 17:33 GMT [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    US 'slavery' couple found guilty

    [​IMG] The Sabhnanis were accused of "modern day slavery"

    A wealthy US couple have been convicted of keeping two Indonesian women as slaves in a New York home and abusing them physically and psychologically.
    Indian-born Mahender Murlidhar Sabhnani, 51, and his wife, Varsha Mahender Sabhnani, 45, could face up to 40 years in prison.
    They were found guilty on 12 charges, which included involuntary servitude, harbouring aliens and forced labour.
    The couple's lawyer said he would appeal against the verdict.
    The wealthy couple, who run a perfume business and have four children, had brought the women to their large house to work as housekeepers, and forced them to work up to 18 hours per day.
    The couple were arrested after one of the women was found wandering the streets dressed in only trousers and a towel.
    Regular beatings
    Prosecutors described the case as "modern-day slavery".
    They described how the two Indonesian women had been punished for misbehaviour such as sleeping late and stealing food from the dustbin to supplement their meagre meals.
    [​IMG] Varsha Sabhnani and her husband had pleaded not guilty

    The women said they had been beaten with brooms and umbrellas, slashed with knives, made to take freezing showers and climb stairs repeatedly.

    One said she had been forced to eat several hot chillies and then her own vomit.
    "Apparently, the jury was taken by the histrionics (of the Indonesian women)," defence lawyer Jeffrey Hoffmann told AP.
    Lawyers for the accused had argued that the housekeepers practiced witchcraft and may have abused themselves.
    They had said the couple spent a lot of time abroad and that the two Indonesian women would have been free to leave whenever they wanted.
    The pair were described as "model citizens" who wanted only to clear their names.
    The women, identified as Nona and Samirah, arrived in the US legally in 2002 but had their passports confiscated by the Sabhnanis, officials said. Their visas have since expired.
  2. Wow, that picture of the lady reminds me of Cruela Devil. It's hard to believe something like this can happen NY!
  3. Yes I know... it is's just not right.
  4. This doesn't sound like slavery as much at it does a sort of abduction and torture. If this couple is guilty they should be totally prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
  5. rofl, I was thinking the same!

    But anyways, what these people have done is absolutely cruel and disgusting and I really hope they end up spending a lot of time in jail.:yucky:
  6. I just saw this on the news. I grew up in the town it happened.
  7. I saw this today also. I think it is awful and then the couple tried to play it off w/ witchcraft and self mutilation allegations. Give me a break.
  8. Also saw this on the news... what gets me is, if it was all hunky dory there, why was the one woman wandering around outside in a towel and pants only? If they'd been treated so nicely, WHY would they make up a story like this?

    And I'm gonna have nightmares now with that picture... Cruella DeVille indeed!
  9. I'm sure the couple thinks they did nothing wrong or it was their right to do so.
  10. She reminds me of the witch in snow white. I hope these people enjoy jail!
  11. Cruella indeed! She looks so scary!

    I heard about this story a long time ago, think it was months or even a year before. Can't really remember the time or where I heard about this.. Indonesian news site or others.
  12. sick, and that's probably got to be the scariest woman I've ever seen.
  13. The should get a lot longer than just 40 years in prison...

    this is just disgusting