News

Fourth Circuit Affirms Maryland Slavery Conviction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 1, 2008

Greenbelt, Maryland – The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today affirmed the conviction and sentence of Dr. Adaobi Stella Udeozor, who was found guilty by a jury on November 18, 2004, of conspiring to hold a person in a condition of involuntary servitude and of harboring an alien for financial gain. Udeozor was sentenced to serve 87 months in federal prison and pay the victim more than $110,000 in restitution.

“The defendant violated the prohibition against slavery and involuntary servitude, which is a bedrock principle of American law,” said United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and federal and state agencies and nonprofit organizations, in conjunction with Maryland’s Human Trafficking Task Force, to locate human trafficking victims and prosecute perpetrators.”

The victim in the case was a 14 year old girl who left her home in Nigeria and came to the United States in 1996 based on a promise that she would attend school and the victim’s family would receive payments for her help in caring for the Udeozors’ children. The victim lived with the Udeozors from 1996 until 2001 but never attended school. She was subjected to repeated physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and she was required to care for children, clean the house, cook and work in Dr. Udeozor’s medical office without compensation.

The government has requested the extradition of codefendant George Udeozor from Nigeria.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, which assisted in the trial and litigated the appeal. He also expressed his appreciation to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which conducted the investigation, and to Justice Department Trial Attorney Dirk Christian Phillips, who handled the appeal.

 

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