Mar 9, 2012

Asian Indians linked to sex abuse and trafficking

Asian Indians from Clarkstown, New York, Vishal Jagota, Rajani Jagota Parveen Jagota Convicted of labor trafficking and assault charges

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe today announced that three members of a Clarkstown family were convicted of labor trafficking and assault charges for using intimidation, threats and physical violence to force a 20-year-old woman into a life of servitude and sexual abuse.

Vishal Jagota (DOB 01/16/78) of 28 Butternut Drive, New City, New York was found guilty after the bench trial of: One count of Assault in the Third Degree, a class “A” Misdemeanor

Parveen Jagota (DOB 01/04/54) and Rajani Jagota (DOB 12/03/80) of 28 Butternut Drive, New City, New York were found guilty after the bench trial of: Two counts of Labor Trafficking, class “D” Felonies One count of Assault in the Second Degree, a class “D” Felony

“These convictions underscore our serious commitment to prosecuting those defendants who would prey on vulnerable - and in many cases young - victims,” said District Attorney Zugibe. “Human trafficking is a violent
and degrading crime that will not be tolerated. My office will continue to use every tool available under the law to prosecute dangerous individuals like these and to seek justice for victims.”

The victim, now 25-years-old, is an Indian citizen who was brought to the United States through an arranged marriage with Vishal Jagota in January, 2008.

The defendants engaged in a scheme, using intimidation, physical and sexual abuse and manipulation to force the victim to work as a round-the-clock servant, performing a variety of household chores, cooking, child care and other tasks under threats of violence.

When the victim threatened to contact authorities, each of the defendants vowed to concoct wild stories, accusing her of committing various types of crime.

On one occasion, Parveen Jagota and Rajani Jagota burned the victims’ hand with a hot iron in order to “teach her a lesson,” following their displeasure with her laundry skills. Rajani Jagota, the victim’s sister-in-law, and Vishal Jagota are accused of forbidding the victim from receiving medical treatment for the serious burn, telling her to treat the open wound with toothpaste.

On another occasion, Vishal Jagota is accused of biting the victim, causing permanent scarring on her cheek.

The victim was forced to face her captors for nearly three years, from her arrival in Rockland County in 2008, until September, 2010.

Parveen Jagota and Rajani Jagota face up to seven years in state prison when sentenced on May 22, 2012 before the Honorable William K. Nelson.

Vishal Jagota faces up to one year in the Rockland County jail when sentenced on May 22, 2012 before the Honorable William K. Nelson

This case apparently marks the first indictments, trial and convictions under New York State’s new Labor Trafficking Law.

This case was prosecuted by Arthur J. Ferraro, Chief Assistant District Attorney and Amanda Doty, Assistant District Attorney.

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