Peruvian Maid Enslaved by Land Agent, Suit Says

(CN) – A real estate agent and her mother enslaved their undocumented Peruvian maid for more than two years, forcing her to work 15 hours a day seven days a week to pay off an alleged debt that only increased over time, the maid claims in San Francisco Federal Court.

     Zoraida Canal says that Mabelle Dann and Dann’s mother, Teresa De La Rosa, lured her to their homes in Walnut Creek with promises to pay her $600 a month and room and board to watch Dann’s children five days a week.
     At the time, Canal was providing child care for Dann’s sister in Peru. But she says that when she arrived in Walnut Creek, she was forced to toil under intolerable conditions, caring for twin 5-year-olds and an 11-year-old boy 105 hours a week, also cooking and cleaning for the household – all without pay.
     She says Dann confiscated her passport and identification documents and threatened her with arrest and deportation and violence.
     Canal says Dann faces criminal charges for this, in a federal indictment for visa fraud, conspiracy, forced labor, unlawful conduct regarding documents in furtherance of servitude, and harboring an illegal immigrant for private financial gain.
     The criminal case is N.C. Cal. CR08-0390 CW.
     Canal is represented by Nancy Harris, with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

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