Since AUSA Mark J. Lesko earned his spurs prosecuting the Muttontown Slave case, it might be instructive to compare the details of that case to the NXIVM case.
From the EDNY US Attorney’s Office, June 26, 2008
Varsha Sabhnani Sentenced to 132 Months’ Imprisonment for Her Slave Case
VARSHA SABHNANI was sentenced today to 132 months’ imprisonment based on her conviction after trial of forced labor, peonage, harboring aliens, document servitude, and related conspiracy charges. The proceeding was held before United States District Court Judge Arthur D. Spatt at the U.S. Courthouse in Central Islip, New York.
The defendant and her husband, Mahender Sabhnani, owners of a lucrative world-wide perfume manufacturing and distribution business, were arrested on May 14, 2007, following an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Nassau County Police Department, and the Old Brookville Police Department.
The investigation began after one of the victims was found in a Dunkin’ Donuts store in Syosset, New York, wearing rags and with open wounds behind her ears. Subsequently, during the execution of a search warrant at the defendants’ residence in Muttontown, New York, a second victim was found hiding in a closet under the basement stairs.
During the eight week trial, held between October 22, 2007 and December 17, 2007, the jury heard testimony that the defendants brought the two victims, who did not speak English and had limited education, from Indonesia to the United States to work as domestic servants; confiscated their passports, visas, and other identification documents; kept the victims in a state of servitude in the defendants’ home for several years where they were forced to labor up to 20 hours a day; and that VARSHA SABHNANI physically and psychologically abused both victims by beating, stabbing, scalding, cutting, starving them, depriving them of sleep, preventing contact with family members, and threatening to have the victims and their family members jailed.
Following two days of deliberations, the jury convicted VARSHA SABHNANI and her husband of all counts in the indictment.
His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.
His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.
Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.
Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.
Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.
IMDb — Frank Parlato
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Thanks Shadow. I never heard of this case so I’m off checking up on it now!
The branding was not done with a hot iron, that would have been far too humane. It was done, over the course of 20-40 minutes (practice makes perfect!), with a cauterizing pen, to allow the women to show how “loyal” they were to Raniere.