WASHINGTON (WMBD) — A federal grand jury has indicted three siblings for a conspiracy to commit forced labor in Champaign County, Illinois.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice press release, Guatemalan Nationals Domingo Francisco-Juan, Lorenza Domingo-Castaneda and Catarina Domingo-Juan have been indicted on nine counts of conspiracy to commit forced labor, forced labor, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and kidnapping.
According to the allegations set forth in the indictment, the defendants conspired to bring two minor victims from Guatemala to the United States to work in the defendant’s homes.
The defendants used false promises of a better life and education to gain the permission of the victim’s mother for her minor daughters to be brought to the U.S.
The minor victims were compelled to provide childcare, cooking, and cleaning within the homes of the defendants and work outside the homes in local hotels, factories, and a restaurant. A third victim was also forced to work in the defendant’s homes and at local businesses.
The indictment also alleges that the defendants isolated the victims, restricted their communication with their families, and subjected them to physical, verbal, and psychological abuse, among other coercive means.
If convicted, the defendants could face up to life in prison, in addition to mandatory restitution. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Champaign Police Department, Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office.