A woman convicted of luring a Peruvian to the United States with promises of job then confiscating her travel documents and forcing her to work for no pay was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday.
Maribel de la Rosa Dann was found guilty of forced labor and related charges for keeping Zoraida Pena-Canal enslaved as a household servant from summer of 2006 to the spring of 2008. Dann, a real estate agent in the affluent suburb of Walnut Creek, was also ordered to serve three years of supervised released, and ordered to pay $123,740 in restitution for back wages not paid.
Pena-Canal has a civil case pending in which she is seeking to recover the costs of her labor, emotional distress and other damages.
The victim did not want to speak in court, but in a written statement she told others who might be enduring similar circumstances, "Do not be afraid and do not be ashamed. Seek help and fight for the justice you deserve."
Attorneys and advocates said that while the public may be more familiar with human trafficking victims who are forced into prostitution, cases of forced labor like Pena-Canal's are also widespread.