HOUSTON - The Katy couple accused of holding a Nigerian woman captive in their home for more than two years appeared before a Harris County judge.
In early March, a federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment against Chudy and Sandra Nsobundu, 56 and 50. They are both charged with forced labor, withholding documents, visa fraud, conspiracy to harbor and harboring an illegal alien.
The couple pleaded not guilty Thursday morning.
They must also forfeit their Katy residence.
Both Chudy Nsobundu and Sandra Nsobundu are accused of mentally and physically abusing the unpaid nanny who lived in their Katy home. Court documents show she was allowed to only eat leftovers, not wash her hair and had to work about 20 hours a day with no pay.
The woman was rescued on Oct. 10, 2015, following a tip to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
If convicted of the conspiracy or forced labor, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison. For withholding documents, they face another five years, while the visa fraud and harboring illegal aliens carries a possible 10-year sentence. All of the charges could also result in a $250,000 maximum fine.
The case will go to trial on April 18.
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