A 43-year-old woman with homes in Secaucus and Woodland Park was convicted of forcing a Sri Lankan national to work for her for years without pay, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Craig Carpenito said Thursday.
Alia Imad Faleh Al-Hunaity, who is also known as Alia Al Qaternah, was found guilty by a jury in Camden federal court of forced labor, alien harboring for financial gain and marriage fraud. Al -Hunaity faces up to 20 years in prison on the forced labor charge alone when she’s sentenced in September.
The victim, a woman from Sri Lanka, was brought to the United States on a temporary visa in 2009 to perform domestic work for Al-Hunaity. When the visa expired, Al-Hunaity forced her to stay in the country and clean her homes as well as care for her three children.
Al-Hunaity kept the woman isolated from the outside world and forced her to sleep in common areas, such as the kitchen. Last year, Al-Hunaity also forced the victim to marry her in order to prevent her from being deported.
“The defendant in this case treated the victim as a slave,” Carpenito said.
Al-Hunaity kept the victim in this country illegally and hid her away, in order to force her to perform household work for Al-Hunaity without pay, privacy, or the ability to move about freely. Through the guilty verdicts in this case and other prosecutions like it, this office continues to work to ensure that the evil of human trafficking is brought out from hiding and into the light so that it may be punished appropriately.”
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