Virginia trio sentenced in forced labor case: Woman held against her will for 12 years
Three people from Midlothian have been sentenced after being convicted for holding a Pakistani woman against her will for 12 years.
Zahida Aman, 80, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison, Mohammed Rehan Chaudhri, 48, to 10 years in federal prison, and Mohammad Nauman Chaudhri, 55, to five years in federal prison in the Eastern District of Virginia.
The sentences don’t seem enough considering the facts of the case.
According to court documents, in 2002, the victim, Maira Butt, married Aman’s son, and the brother of Nauman and Rehan Chaudhri. Thereafter, she lived in the home of the defendants. Over the next 12 years, the three defendants forced her to perform domestic services.
To coerce that labor, the defendants verbally assaulted and physically abused the victim. The defendants slapped, kicked, and pushed the victim, even beat her with wooden board, and, on one occasion, hog-tied her hands and feet and dragged her down the stairs in front of her children.
In addition, though the victim, a native of Pakistan, had temporary immigration status in the United States, Aman took the victim’s immigration documents. Thereafter, defendants threatened the victim with deportation should she not obey their demands.
The defendants also threatened to separate the victim from her children to coerce her labor.
Following a seven-day trial last May, the jury convicted all of the defendants of conspiracy to commit forced labor, convicted two of the defendants of forced labor, and convicted Aman of document servitude.
On top of the prison sentences, the court ordered Aman and Rehan Chaudhri to pay the victim approximately $250,000 in restitution for back wages and other financial losses she incurred as a result of the defendants’ criminal conduct.