SANTA ANA, California – An Egyptian man and his ex-wife were sentenced Monday for enslaving a girl from their home country for two years while forcing her to work under harsh conditions for no pay.
Abdel-Nasser Youssef Ibrahim, 45, was sentenced to three years in prison, and his former wife, Amal Ahmed Ewis Abdel-Motelib, 43, received a 22-month sentence. U.S. District Judge James V. Selna ordered the pair to pay restitution of $76,173 to the girl, who is now 16 years old, for the work she performed.
Ibrahim and his ex-wife each pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy, holding a person in involuntary servitude through force or coercion, obtaining labor through unlawful force or coercion and harboring an illegal alien.
Prosecutors said the two will serve their sentences before being deported to Egypt for overstaying their visas.
The pair brought the girl into the United States in August 2000 when she was 10, and ordered her to clean their Orange County home and take care of their five children while she lived in squalid conditions. She also was prevented from leaving the house.
"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 in statement.
Prosecutors said the girl received no compensation during the nearly two years that she worked for the couple. They said she was forced to sleep in the garage, had her passport taken away and was not allowed to play outside.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office investigated the case after local officials received an anonymous tip about the girl. Authorities found her in April 2002.
Ibrahim told authorities after his arrest that the girl loved living in the United States and was not being forced to work as a maid.
The girl will be allowed to remain in the United States.