More charges filed against couple that allegedly kept girls as slaves in Aurora

The couple allegedly forced both girls to provide labor and services for their own private gain, prosecutors say.

SHARE More charges filed against couple that allegedly kept girls as slaves in Aurora
Joseph Roman alledegly carjacked a man Feb. 19, 2021 in Humboldt Park.

Additional charges were filed against the couple from Guatemala that allegedly kept two girls as slaves.

Adobe stock photo

Additional charges were filed against a couple from Guatemala that allegedly used two undocumented girls as slaves in suburban Aurora.

The couple, Santos Theodoro Ac-Salazar and Olga Choc Laj, are now charged with counts of conspiracy, harboring and forced labor, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern Illinois District.

In October, the couple was charged by federal authorities in Chicago with forced labor.

The couple allegedly forced both girls — who were about 10 and 15 years old when they were smuggled into the U.S. — to provide labor and services for their own private gain, prosecutors said.

Olga Choc Laj

Olga Choc Laj

Kane County sheriff’s office

The older girl, now 17, wasn’t allowed to enroll in school and was forced to work and give her earnings to the couple, officials said. The younger girl started school in Aurora only after child-welfare workers visited the home.

Both girls cleaned the couple’s home and took care of their baby, according to a federal criminal complaint. The girls allegedly weren’t allowed to leave, and the younger girl was allegedly abused.

The couple allegedly told investigators that the teen girl was a cousin of Choc Laj, and that Ac-Salazar adopted the younger girl in Guatemala. But both girls said they did not know the couple before they were smuggled into the U.S., officials said.

In February, the two girls and the baby were taken into protective custody by the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services.

The couple’s arraignment was scheduled for Wednesday.

The Latest
Christopher Morel hit a home run, and Brandon Hughes struck out five Pirates in the Cubs’ 7-0 win Tuesday.
One step would be to adjust the deadline in the city’s heating ordinance to a date earlier than June 1.
Zoning Committee Chairman Tom Tunney (44th), who doubles as the casino committee chairman, said he is not at all certain that the votes are there to approve the companion agreements. “There’s still a lot of work to be done. I don’t know if we can get it done by Friday. But that’s their goal...We might need more time. That’s all I’m gonna say.”