Indian national convicted for coercing female worker to force labour; sexual acts: US Justice department

New York, A 70-year-old Indian national in the United States has been convicted for a slew of charges, including coercing one of his female workers to force labour and sexual acts, according to a statement issued by the justice department.

Shreesh Tiwari, who is a legal US permanent resident and was managing a motel in Georgia’s Cartersville, hired the victim to work as a house cleaner at the motel.

He knew that prior to arriving at the motel the victim had experienced homelessness, struggled with a heroin addiction and lost custody of her young child. Tiwari promised the victim that he would help her regain custody of her child by providing her with pay, an apartment, and an attorney, the justice department said, citing the court documents.

“Instead of following through with his promises, Tiwari monitored the victim’s interactions with motel guests and employees and forbade her from speaking to them. Tiwari also made numerous sexual overtures to the victim. When Tiwari became angry at the victim, he threatened to evict her from the room he offered her at the motel, knowing that she would become homeless as a result,” the statement said.

Tiwari also threatened to report the victim’s drug use to law enforcement or child welfare agencies whenever he was angry at her.

Eventually, Tiwari began to regularly ‘evict’ the victim from her motel room, and even locked her out of her room at night without warning. Tiwari later required the victim to perform oral sex on him to stay at the motel. If she did not, Tiwari removed her from the property, causing her to be homeless,” the statement said.

Legal officers said that the sentencing has been set for September 6 and Tiwari faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine.

As part of his plea agreement, Tiwari agreed to pay slightly over USD 40,000 in mandatory restitution to the victims of the offense.

A federal judge will determine any sentence based on the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.