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Defense cross-examines alleged victim in slave case

One of two women accusing a Muttontown couple of enslavement continued her testimony Wednesday after a one-day break in the trial. A woman known in the court only as Samirah testified that she and one

News 12 Staff

Nov 7, 2007, 11:42 PM

Updated 6,101 days ago

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One of two women accusing a Muttontown couple of enslavement continued her testimony Wednesday after a one-day break in the trial.
A woman known in the court only as Samirah testified that she and one other Indonesian woman were held as slaves for years by Varsha and Mahender Sabhnani. Trial proceedings resumed after Tuesday's cancellation due to an ailing translator who called in sick.
Samirah told the court of the torture, starvation and other abuse allegedly inflicted upon her by Varsha Sabhnani. In a 2006 letter to her children in Indonesia, Samirah wrote, "I want to get out of here. No matter how, I must get out of this house. Because of the pay is low and torture is severe." Samirah did eventually leave the home earlier this year, where she sought help at Dunkin' Donuts in nearby Syosset.
The alleged victim also wrote in the same letter, "The mister is good. So are the children. But the wife, oh god!"
During cross-examination, defense attorneys presented pictures of Samirah playing in the snow and opening a gift at Christmas. The defense said Samirah did not have scars in the pictures. They told the jury the alleged victims' wounds were self-inflicted as part of a scheme to get more money and a better job.
Samirah's testimony is scheduled to resume Thursday.
Related Information:Allegedvictim describes her enslavement to juryAllegedvictim testifies in Muttontown slavery trialSurveillancevideo shows alleged slave after escape


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