Couple Charged With Keeping Woman as Slave
They confiscated her passport, forced her to get married
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2011 12:35 PM CDT
A woman was allegedly forced into servitude for years.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A grand jury indicted a Virginia couple on a host of charges this week, following allegations that they forced a woman into domestic servitude for a decade, threatening to shoot her or have her arrested if she tried to run away. According to the indictment, Gloria and Alfred Edwards, aged 60 and 73 respectively, lured a young woman from the Philippines in 1999 with promises of employment, then stole her passport when she arrived, the Washington Post reports.

The woman did household work, gave massages to Edwards’ mother, and sometimes even cleaned neighbors' homes. When the couple actually paid her—which they didn’t from 2002 to 2006, according to court documents—she made $50 a month. Though she was already married in the Phillipines, the Edwards’ allegedly forced her into two US marriages to keep her visa; the second time, they married her to Alfred’s brother, a dementia sufferer requiring extensive care. Gloria is also alleged to have physically abused the woman with knives. The woman ran away once in 2002, but was drawn back by the Edwards’ threats. She left for good in 2009.