A San Diego couple was sentenced to three years of probation on Tuesday for locking up an Indonesian woman at their home and forcing her to work without pay, the U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed.
Firas Majeed, 45, and Shatha Abbas, 39, were arrested on April 8, 2016 after the victim slipped a note to a health-care worker who visited the home in El Cajon. The note, written in the victim's native language, begged for help.
The woman was rescued by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigation on March 22.
Majeed and Abbas plead guilty on August 18 to holding the woman's passport illegally so that she was forced to work for their household between November 2015 and March 2016, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The victim reported that she had been forced to work for Abbas' relative in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for five years before she was forced to leave to the U.S.
While at the couple's El Cajon home, the victim was required to work up to 18 hours a day, every day of the week without pay. She was also not allowed to leave the home alone.
“Forcing someone to work under these horrible conditions is slavery, pure and simple. Victims of domestic servitude live in misery and fear. We stand ready to rescue victims and investigate and prosecute these crimes, but we need the public’s help to recognize and report these crimes," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy, in a statement.
The victim's identity was not released.
On Tuesday, the couple were sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay more than $18,000 in restitution to the victim.