Egyptians Imprisoned in US for Enslaving 10 Year Old
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Two Egyptian nationals who enslaved a 10-year-old girl and forced her to work as a domestic "slave" at their Orange County residence will serve some time in federal prison.
Abdel Nasser Youssef Ibrahim, 57, and his ex-wife, Amal Ahmed Ewis-abd El Motelib, 43, were sentenced on Monday morning by United States District Judge James V. Selna. Ibrahim received a 36-month prison term, El Motelib 22 months.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Selna ordered the pair to pay the victim more than $76,000, the amount she should have received during the two years she worked without pay for the family of seven at their Irvine, CA residence.
Upon completion of their sentences, the two foreign nationals will also face deportation from the United States, which will probably occur, according to immigration officials.
The case, which was brought to the attention of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, stemmed from an investigation by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and the Irvine Police Department. The prosecution was spearheaded by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.
“The trafficking and enslavement of children is one of the vilest forms of exploitation imaginable,” said Department of Homeland Security 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,” she said.
At Tuesday's hearing, the victim in the case, who is now 17 and a high school honors student, choked back tears as she told the court how the defendants denied her access to medical care and refused to allow her to attend school or go to the mosque.
“The young victim in this case was subject to inhumane conditions that were not worthy of an animal,” 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.”
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 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 she 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 told the girl that she would be arrested and taken away if she was caught by the police outside the family’s home.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.