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.
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.
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.