SANTA ANA, California – LAWFUEL – Law News Network – Two Egyptian nationals who enslaved a 10-year-old girl and forced her to work as a domestic servant at their Orange County residence were both sentenced this morning.
Abdel Nasser Youssef Ibrahim, 57, was sentenced to 36 months, and his ex-wife, Amal Ahmed Ewis-abd El Motelib, 43, was sentenced to 22 months. Both were sentenced by United States District Judge James V. Selna. In addition to the prison term, Judge Selna ordered Ibrahim and Motelib to pay to the victim $76,137.60, a figure that represents the money she should have been paid while working for two years without pay for a family of seven at their Irvine residence.
The court did not remand Ibrahim and Montelib to custody, instead ordering them to surrender into custody on October 30 and November 13 respectively. Following the sentencing, however, Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained Ibrahim and Motelib, both foreign nationals, pending deportation proceedings. Upon completion of their sentences, as foreign nationals, both Ibrahim and Motelib will face deportation from the United States.
Ibrahim and Motelib both pleaded guilty in June to four felony counts: conspiracy, holding a person in involuntary servitude through force or coercion, obtaining labor through unlawful force and coercion, and harboring an illegal alien.
“The young victim in this case was subject to inhumane conditions that included both physical and verbal abuse.” United States Attorney Debra Wong Yang said. “As a result of recent changes in federal law, she has been granted a visa that will allow her to stay and, hopefully, prosper, in the United States. I hope this brings some recompense to a victim who was forced to work every day for as long as 16 hours.”
The victim began working for Ibrahim and Motelib as a domestic servant in Egypt in 1999. The couple then moved to the United States and, in 2000, arranged to have the victim brought to the United States with the expectation that the victim would work for them as a nanny and housekeeper. Once in the United States, Ibrahim and Motelib confiscated the victim’s passport. The victim received no compensation for her labor and served the couple and their family for 20 months.
Ibrahim and Motelib forced the victim to work through a number of unlawful means, including threats, and physical and verbal abuse. For example, both Ibrahim and Motelib slapped the victim on at least one occasion, and they told the girl that she would be arrested and taken away if she was caught by the police outside the family’s home.
“This young victim was robbed of something intensely precious – her youth,” said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division is strongly committed to ending the heinous crime of human trafficking. Innocent victims, such as the young girl in this case, deserve the freedom and opportunity that America offers. They deserve the right to seek the American Dream.”
“The trafficking and enslavement of children is one of the vilest forms of exploitation imaginable,” said ICE Assistant Secretary Julie Myers. “It is a sad reflection on human greed that, even in the most affluent neighborhoods, adults think they can take advantage of a helpless child. We hope the outcome of this case will send a clear message that such unconscionable conduct will be dealt with severely. ”
The case against Ibrahim and Motelib is the first case brought under the purview of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Irvine Police Department conducted the investigation. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Keenan
Release No. 06-143