NEW CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Four members of a Rockland County family are charged with holding a woman as a sex slave and servant, accused of physically and sexually abusing her.
But on Wednesday night in an exclusive interview with CBS 2’s Dave Carlin, the family members said the woman is a liar.
“We didn’t do it. We know we are innocent. That’s all,” Rajani Jagota said.
Jagota, 30, her parents and older brother met with Carlin on Wednesday night.
They were charged with keeping a 22-year-old woman as a virtual slave, hitting her and sexually abusing her.
However, the Jagotas maintain the allegations are lies.
Carlin: “They are saying you brought her to this country to be your slave.”
Rajani Jagota: “No, we brought her to the country not to slave.”
Carlin: “Did anyone ever sexually abuse her or touch her?”
Rajani Jagota: “Never. Never. Never at all.”
In a statement the Rockland County district attorney said, “the defendants engaged in a scheme, using intimidation, physical and sexual abuse” to make the woman a round-the-clock servant.
It says Aman Jagota “regularly groped and fondled the victim” and his wife, Parveen, and Rajani “allegedly burned the victims hand with a hot iron.”
Carlin then asked Rajani Jagota if she ever burned the woman with an iron or hit her, to which she replied, “never, never, never.”
She said when the woman wed her brother, Vishal, in a traditional Indian arranged marriage back in 2008, everyone was happy. But the family insists the woman wanted out with their baby daughter once she got her green card.
Now, they don’t know where the woman and child are. Vishal’s English is limited so his sister translated.
“He is frustrated because what she did is wrong,” Rajani Jagota said.
There are two very different pictures emerging about the goings on in the house, with one side calling it a nightmare and the other calling it normal and leaving it for a jury to try and determine who’s telling the truth.
The next hearing for the Jagotas is on March 29. Each family member faces seven years for the trafficking charge.
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