A Houston-area couple who pleaded guilty to federal charges related to forcing a Nigerian woman to work nearly 20 hours daily taking care of their home and five children without pay for two years was ordered Friday to pay her more than $121,000 in restitution. Chudy Nsobundu, 57, and his wife Sandra Nsobundu, 49, also were sentenced by US District Judge Nancy Atlas to seven months in jail and seven months of home confinement, plus three years on probation. The naturalized US citizens originally from Nigeria recruited the woman there with the promise of a $100 monthly wage. Instead, authorities say they abused her physically and verbally while she worked at their home in the Houston suburb of Katy from September 2013 to October 2015, reports the AP.
According to court documents, the nanny would work every day from 5:30am to 1am, couldn't take breaks, and had to eat leftovers and not fresh food, including being forced to only drink milk left in bowls in which the children had eaten cereal. She also couldn't take hot showers. Authorities said the Nsobundus prevented the nanny from leaving their employment by keeping her passport and by threatening her with physical and mental abuse. The nanny reached out for help and was rescued following a tip to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Her name has not been released. Prosecutors say the couple knowingly caused a false visa application for the victim to be submitted to the Department of State; the AP details the intentional errors here.