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October 19, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Longview couple sentenced in forced labor case

A Longview couple accused of forcing an 18-year-old woman to serve as their unpaid personal servant were each sentenced to prison today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

Edk Kenit was sentenced to 40 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.  Choimina Lukas was sentenced to 20 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Federal prosecutors say Kenit and Lukas recruited the victim from their homeland of Micronesia, brought her to the U.S., then took control of her passport as part of their scheme to compel her labor, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the couple also obtained a Social Security card in the victim’s name, found her full-time work at a chicken processing plant and forced her to give them her earnings. All the while she was expected to provide child care and cook and clean for them without compensation, The Associated Press reports.

Officials say the scheme lasted nearly a year before the victim escaped in February.

The couple pleaded guilty in August to compelled servitude through the use or withholding of documents.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Document servitude

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