The FBI says a Seattle couple of Moroccan descent brought their niece to the U.S. with the promise of getting a dental education, but instead forced
her to work 12 to 14 hours a day for no pay in their coffee shop:
SEATTLE -- A teenage Moroccan girl who came to Washington state in hopes of getting a good education and becoming a dentist was instead kept as a
slave by her aunt and uncle, who pulled her out of school and forced her to work without pay at the family's espresso stand, the FBI says.
Abdenasser Ennassime, also known as Sammy, was arrested at the espresso stand, Lake City Perk, in the Tacoma suburb of Lakewood, and his wife, Tonya,
was arrested at their home Friday morning, one day after a federal grand jury indicted them. Tonya Ennassime is charged with harboring an alien while
her husband is charged with one count of harboring and one count of forced labor. The girl, now 17, has been living in a safe house.
The indictment itself reveals few details about the case, but an affidavit filed by an FBI agent in a related matter shows what authorities believe
The girl, Lamia Ennassime, came to stay with her aunt and uncle at age 12 in September 2001, with the understanding that she would help care for their
young son and help with the housework in exchange for lodging and a chance for a good education. She made breakfast and dinner, did laundry, cleaned
the house, and worked weekends and summers without pay at the espresso stand.
In March 2004, Sammy Ennassime read her diary, in which she complained about being mistreated. Furious, he punched her three times in the face and
withdrew her from school, seven months into her freshman year, the affidavit said. He forced her to work more at the espresso stand, sometimes 12 to
14 hours, and confiscated her tips - about $5,000 in all - under the threat of reporting her for being in the country illegally.
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How could anyone do this to any child, let alone their relative? It boggles the mind!