WASHINGTON – Jefferson Calimlim Sr. and his wife Elnora Calimlim, both medical doctors in Milwaukee, Wis., were each sentenced today to four years in prison for forcing a woman to work as their domestic servant and illegally harboring her for 19 years in their Brookfield, Wis. residence. In a related matter, the Calimlims’ son, Jefferson Calimlim Jr., was sentenced today to 120 days of home confinement, three years of supervised release, and a $5,000 fine, for illegally harboring the victim.
On May 26, 2006, Jefferson Calimlim, Sr. and Elnora Calimlim were convicted by a Milwaukee federal jury for using threats of serious harm and physical restraint against a Philippine woman to obtain her services, in violation of federal law. Jefferson Calimlim, Jr. was convicted of harboring an illegal alien. Jefferson Calimlim Sr. and his wife recruited and brought the victim from the Philippines to the U.S. in 1985 when she was 19 years old. In September 2004, federal law enforcement officers, responding to a tip, removed the victim, then age 38, from the Calimlim’s residence through the execution of a federal search warrant. The victim testified that for 19 years she was hidden in the Calimlim’s home, forbidden from going outside, and told that she would be arrested, imprisoned and deported if she was discovered.
“The promise of freedom has brought millions of people to these shores,” said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Calimlims had no right to deprive their victim of that freedom. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute and bring to justice those who victimize some of society’s most vulnerable members.”
“We will vigorously pursue civil rights cases wherever they occur,” said Steven M. Biskupic, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. “It is a basic and fundamental right to be free, and no person should ever be forced to live in a world of fear, virtual isolation, and servitude,” said Brian Falvey, Resident Agent-in-Charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Milwaukee. “Today’s sentencing is a testament to our solemn commitment to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”
Human trafficking prosecutions are a top priority of the Department. In the last six fiscal years, the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, has increased by six-fold the number of human trafficking cases filed in court, quadrupled the number of defendants charged, and tripled the number of defendants convicted. In 2006, the Department obtained a record number of convictions in human trafficking prosecutions. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Johnson and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Susan French. The case was jointly investigated by the Milwaukee Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.