A New City woman has been sentenced to state prison for her role in forcing a young woman into what prosecutors called "modern-day slavery" at a home in New City.
Rajani Jagota, 31, of 28 Butternut Drive, New City, was sentenced to two years and one-to-three years in state prison on her February 2012 conviction after a nonjury trial on the top counts of the indictment that charged her with: Two counts of Labor Trafficking, class “D” Felonies, and one count of Assault in the Second Degree, a class “D” Felony.
"Simply put, this is a tragic case of modern-day slavery," said Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe. "The victim was physically assaulted, psychologically coerced and fearful of reporting the often-daily abuse to authorities. We are committed to using aggressive and innovative tactics to hold accountable those who harbor and exploit others for their own needs. This defendant will pay a very heavy price for their actions.”
The victim, now 25-years-old, is an Indian citizen who was brought to the United States through an arranged marriage with Vishal Jagota, 33, of 28 Butternut Drive, New City.
Zugibe said Rajani Jagota, along with her mother, Parveen Jagota, 58, of 28 Butternut Drive, New City, engaged in a scheme, using intimidation, physical abuse and manipulation to force the victim to work as an around-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, she was threatened that she would be accused of committing various types of crime.
On one occasion, Zugibe said, Parveen Jagota and Rajani Jagota burned the victim's hand with a hot iron in order to “teach her a lesson,” following their displeasure with her ironing skills. Rajani Jagota, the victim’s sister-in-law, forbade the victim from receiving medical treatment for the serious burn, telling her to treat the open wound with toothpaste.
The victim was forced to face her captors for nearly three years, beginning shortly after her arrival in Rockland County in January 2008 until September 2010, Zugibe said.