A New Jersey man was sentenced to 24 years in prison after prosecutors say he smuggled African women into the country and forced them to braid hair for hours with no pay.
Lassissi Afolabi, a native of Togo, was also ordered to pay his victims $3.9 million in restitution along with the prison sentence.
As previously reported he pleaded guilty last August to conspiring with his ex-wife and others to commit forced labor in Newark and East Orange.
He also pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual abuse and traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
Prosecutors say Afolabi took at least 20 women from Africa using fake Visas and forced them to work 14 to 20 hours seven days a week.
The women also lived with Afolabi and his ex-wife and were not allowed to make friends, learn English or travel alone. If any of the women disobeyed they were brutally beaten and sexually abused.
The ring was said to be headed by Afolabi’s ex-wife, Akouavi Kpade Afolabi who prosecutors say beat the girls and performed voodoo rituals on them to make them think they’d go crazy if they escaped.
She is still awaiting sentencing.