Unfortunately, Florida has become known for illegal human trafficking and the penalties for partaking in trafficking or forced labor are severe. In recent news, a Florida woman was charged with smuggling a Mexican captive woman into the U.S. and holding her prisoner for two years while she attempted to impregnate her with her (the defendant’s) boyfriend’s sperm via syringe. The captive woman was also starved as a form of punishment for not being able to get pregnant, and only fed a diet of beans. She lost 65 pounds during her enslavement, during which she was forced to work domestically as well as at a diner and give her paycheck over to her captors. The defendant told her captor that she would be killed if she tried to leave, as the neighborhood was incredibly dangerous, and that she, the defendant, would find out, with the use of Tarot cards, if her captor hid anything from her. The victim was injected with sperm from the defendant’s boyfriend, taken from a condom after the couple had sex. The victim was sometimes injected with the sperm three to four times a day. Additionally, she was forced, through coercion and threats to her family, to have sex with the couple and that if she attempted to escape, her family would be hurt. In 2015 the defendant was originally indicted on charges of bringing in and harboring aliens, forced labor, sex trafficking of children, and further slave traffic. She is being charged with, and pled guilty to, a single count of forced labor.
Florida Definition of Forced Labor, or Modern-Day Slavery
According to Florida statute 787.06, forced labor is akin to modern-day slavery. Victims include people from all walks of life, ages, genders, and nationalities, including citizens of the U.S. Often, victims of forced labor and sexual exploitation labor are subjected to fraud, force, and coercion by their captors. Using coercion on an adult for forced labor is a first degree felony. Additionally, using coercion to transfer an unauthorized alien or legal resident for forced labor is a first degree felony.
Labor services of any kind, including transportation of the victim, is a first degree felony if the victim was under the age of 18. It is a life felony to use a child under the age of 18 who suffers from a mental handicap for forced sexual exploitation. The majority of first degree felonies are punishable by up to 30 years in prison, though the defendant mentioned above is facing a sentence of 20 years. A life felony in Florida is punishable by a term of life in prison.
Call the West Palm Beach Forced Labor Defense Attorneys of Skier Law Firm Today
Forced labor, human trafficking, and bringing in aliens are all incredibly serious crimes in the state of Florida. If you are facing charges, do not hesitate to contact one of the West Palm Beach attorneys of the Skier Law Firm today at (561) 220-3355 immediately.