December 17, 2007

Slavemasters Convicted: Sabhnanis Face Up to 40 Years

Varsha and Mahender Sabhnani, the wealthy couple who kept two Indonesian immigrant women as slaves and subjected them to some of the most vile abuses imaginable (see this entry from November 6), have been convicted on all counts. They now face 40 years in prison. That seems like a mild sentence in consideration of their crimes, but hopefully they'll have to serve all of it and rot as they deserve to.

US 'slavery' couple found guilty

...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 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...

The women, identified as Nona and Samirah, arrived in the US legally in 2002 but had their passports confiscated by the Sabhnanis, officials said...
By the way, I suppose that there are occasions in which you just might be able to tell a book by its cover. That mug you see on the right is Varsha Sabhnani. Look at it for a moment; is there the slightest hint of kindness present in that bony visage? To me, she looks like a character from a story written to dissuade children from speak to strangers. One might suspect that she has a gingerbread house containing a large, bubbling black kettle full of greasy kiddie-bones in her real estate portfolio.

This is one case where it's rather tempting to conclude that they eyes are indeed the windows to the soul.

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