Posted on February 11, 2005

Couple Indicted on Slavery Charges

Jack Kresnak, Detroit Free Press, Feb. 9

Two naturalized U.S. citizens from Cameroon who were convicted in 2001 of abusing an African girl they brought to the United States as a domestic helper have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on slavery charges, officials said Tuesday.

Joseph Djoumessi, 47, is serving a 9-15 year sentence in Macomb Correctional Facility for sexually assaulting the girl, and his wife, Evelyn Djoumessi, 40, received a 90-day jail sentence for misdemeanor child abuse. Both face up to 20 years in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine on the three-count indictment handed up by a grand jury this week, officials said.

The couple were charged with conspiracy “to hold a juvenile alien to involuntary servitude,” and “did so for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain,” according to the indictment.