Sunday, September 03, 2006

Man gets 27 years for enslaving/ raping housekeeper

Nation: But it gets goofy because the man is Muslim from Saudi Arabia, claims he is being convicted for "typical Muslim behavior" and the housekeeper is being forced to lie.

CENTENNIAL, Colorado (AP) -- A man convicted of sexually assaulting an Indonesian housekeeper and keeping her virtually as a slave was sentenced Thursday to 27 years to life in prison. Homaidan Al-Turki, 37, denied the charges and blamed anti-Muslim prejudice for the case against him. He said prosecutors persuaded the housekeeper to accuse him after they failed to build a case that he was a terrorist. Al-Turki, a citizen of Saudi Arabia who lived in the Denver suburb of Aurora, was convicted June 30 of unlawful sexual contact by use of force, theft and extortion, all felonies, and misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit false imprisonment. Defense attorney John Richilano said he would appeal the convictions. Prosecutors and FBI agents said Al-Turki and his wife, Sarah Khonaizan, brought the now 24-year-old woman to Colorado to care for their five children and to cook and clean for the family. An affidavit said she spent four years with the family, sleeping on a mattress on the basement floor and getting paid less than $2 a day. Al-Turki said he treated the woman the same way any observant Muslim family would treat a daughter. "Your honor, I am not here to apologize, for I cannot apologize for things I did not do and for crimes I did not commit," he told the judge. "The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors. Attacking traditional Muslim behaviors was the focal point of the prosecution." Al-Turki said he has been under investigation as a suspected terrorist since 1995 but has never been charged with the crime. "I am not a terrorist and I don't advocate terrorism," he said. Prosecutors denied Al-Turki was targeted because he was Muslim or that the woman's allegations were trumped up. Prosecutor Natalie Decker said the evidence was overwhelming.
Something was wrong considerin the couple agreed to pay the housekeeper back wages.
Al-Turki, a linguist who worked at a Denver publishing and translating company, also faces trial in federal court in October on charges of forced labor, document servitude and harboring an illegal immigrant. In April, he and Khonaizan agreed to pay the nanny about $64,000 in wages to settle a Labor Department lawsuit. He could also face restitution payments in the state case. The judge said he would rule on that later. Khonaizan pleaded guilty to a federal immigration charge and a state theft charge. She was sentenced to home detention and probation in the federal case and two months in jail in the state case. Her attorney, Forrest Lewis, has said she wants to return to Saudi Arabia and will not fight deportation.
Saudi Arabia got in on the act by paying his bail and is in high level talks to get him released.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia Senior Saudi officials were holding high-level talks with authorities in the United States in a bid to win the release of a Saudi man convicted of sexually assaulting an Indonesian housekeeper and keeping her as a virtual slave, the official Saudi Press Agency reported Sunday. The Saudi officials, who were not identified further, "intervened on the highest levels to resolve the case," the agency said, without providing details. Homaidan Al-Turki, a 37-year-old resident of the Denver, Colorado suburb of Aurora, was sentenced in late August to 28 years to life in prison after he was convicted of unlawful sexual contact by use of force, theft and extortion, all felonies, and misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit false imprisonment. Al-Turki, a linguist who worked at a Denver publishing and translating company, denied the charges and blamed anti-Muslim prejudice. He said prosecutors persuaded the housekeeper to accuse him after they failed to build a case that he was a terrorist.
If he claims its typical Muslim behavior, then he is guilty as hell considering the stories of abuse and meager wages by Saudi couples over their housekeepers mostly from south Asia.
Forced-Labor Charges For Saudi Prince's Wife The wife of a Saudi prince was arrested yesterday for allegedly forcing two Indonesian housekeepers to work for her family at homes in Arlington and Winchester for meager wages over nearly two years.
Domestic Workers Abused Worldwide "....Estimating the prevalence of abuse is difficult given the lack of reporting mechanisms, the lack of legal protections and restrictions on the freedom of movement of domestic workers. However, there are many indications that abuses are widespread. In Saudi Arabia, the embassies of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines handle thousands of complaints every year. In January 2004, for instance, the Sri Lankan embassy estimated it was receiving about 150 domestic workers each month who had fled abusive employers."
Saudi Princess Jailed On Charges Of Beating Servant(2001) ORLANDO, Fla. -- After a night in jail, a Saudi princess charged with beating her servant and pushing her down a flight of stairs was scheduled to go before a Florida judge Tuesday afternoon. Princess Buniah al-Saud, a niece of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, was arrested late Monday and booked into the Orange County Jail without bond on charges of beating Memet Ismiyati, her Indonesian maid.
Daniel Pipes has more cases, but it is a problem among rich Saudis to treat their workers like garbage and when they are caught start making weak excuses of discrimination.

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