Immigrant testifies she was U.S. sex slave

Jan. 9, 2009 at 12:44 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A Guatamalan woman told a Los Angeles federal court that she was forced to become a prostitute after being smuggled into the United States.

The young woman, who was identified only as Sandra, alleged in court this week that the individuals who smuggled her into Los Angeles in 2006 forced her to become a sex slave, the Los Angeles Times said Friday.

Sandra testified that a group of her fellow immigrants kept her captive and would routinely beat her and force her to have sex with up to 10 men a day.

Sandra, who prosecutors claim is a minor of unreported age, testified before U.S. District Judge Margaret M. Morrow as part of an ongoing prostitution case.

Several other young women are set to testify in the trial against the five defendants who allegedly forced them to live as sex slaves, the Times reported.

Prosecutors in the case said in a trial memo that the young women were duped into thinking they had housekeeping and other respectable jobs waiting for them in the United States.

"They were young, poor, uneducated and unable to assert themselves," prosecutors said.

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