A Saudi Arabian man accused of enslaving an Indonesian woman and forcing her to have sex was ordered held without bail Monday after federal prosecutors said there was a good chance he would flee to his native country.
Federal Magistrate Michael Watanabe said Homaidan Al-Turki is facing serious charges and has little reason to stay in this country. Al-Turki's lawyer, John Richilano, said his client has family in Colorado and was performing valuable student research at the University of Colorado on Arab dialects that could help protect the United States from terrorist attacks. In one instance, Richilano said, Al-Turki was able to determine that it was former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, and not his double, speaking in a television interview. "This research could be helpful to homeland security," Richilano told Watanabe. Prosecutors said there was no evidence that Al-Turki had performed research at the university for the past two years. Al-Turki, 36, and his wife, Sarah Khonaizan, 35, were indicted by a federal grand jury in June on charges of forced labor, document servitude and harboring an illegal immigrant. Al-Turki also faces state charges including kidnapping, false imprisonment and extortion, as well as 12 charges of sexual assault. They could be sentenced to life in prison, if convicted. According to an affidavit from FBI special agent Jon Bibik, the Indonesian woman told investigators she baby-sat, cooked and cleaned seven days a week with no regular days off from 2000 to 2004 while living with Al-Turki's family in suburban Aurora. The affidavit claims that when she was not working, the woman was confined to an unheated basement where she slept on a mattress on the concrete floor and was repeatedly raped and fondled by Al-Turki. She was paid the equivalent of less than $2 a day, the affidavit alleged. Federal prosecutors want to seize the couple's bank account to pay the Indonesian woman $92,700 in back wages.Khonaizan was released last month on $25,000 bail but was ordered to undergo electronic monitoring and surrender her passport so that she couldn't leave the country.
Sarah Khonaizan and her husband Homaidan Al-Turki face federal and state charges.
- June 14, 2005: 'Sex Slave' Case: Woman Paid Less Than $2 A Day By Couple