Wash. couple sentenced in forced labor case



SEATTLE (AP) — A Bellingham, Wash., couple have been sentenced for illegally bringing an impoverished woman from the Philippines to be their live-in servant, forcing her to work seven days a week for as little as $200 a month.

U.S. District Judge James Robart sentenced 44-year-old Cherry Valera on Monday in Seattle to four months in prison and 100 hours of community service. He sentenced her husband, 46-year-old Bernard Salvatierra, to six months of home detention.

Valera earlier pleaded guilty to harboring an alien for financial gain and Salvatierra to unlawful employment of an alien.

The U.S. attorney’s office says the couple employed the woman for three years until she escaped. They forced her to provide full-time child care, cleaning and cooking services.

They have paid her $57,000 in restitution.