CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A millionaire who inflicted years of abuse on two Indonesian housekeepers held as virtual slaves in her Long Island mansion received an 11-year prison sentence on Thursday.
Varsha Sabhnani, 46, was convicted with her husband in December on a 12-count federal indictment that included forced labor, conspiracy, involuntary servitude and harboring aliens.
The trial provided a glimpse into a growing U.S. problem of domestic workers exploited in slave-like conditions.
The victims testified that they were beaten with brooms and umbrellas, slashed with knives, and forced to climb stairs and take freezing showers as punishment.
U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Spatt called the testimony “eye-opening, to say the least — that things like that go on in our country.”