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Court hears nanny’s horror story in trial of Chinese couple she worked for

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by vancouverfun, May 31, 2013.

  1. vancouverfun

    vancouverfun Full Member


    Oi Ling Nicole Huen, left, and Franco Yiu Kwan Orr, shown outside court Wednesday, have pleaded not guilty to charges related to bringing Leticia Sarmiento into the country illegally and wrongfully employing her.

    Photograph by: Arlen Redekop , Province

    A Filipino nanny was tricked into coming to B.C. with promises of being treated well, but spent nearly two years in domestic servitude, a human trafficking trial heard Wednesday.

    Leticia Sarmiento, a mother of three, had worked for a Hong Kong couple for nearly a year when they asked her to come to Canada with them, Crown counsel Charles Hough told a B.C. Supreme Court jury in Vancouver.

    In Hong Kong, Sarmiento’s job as a caregiver for the couple’s three kids permitted her two days off a week, statutory holidays and freedom to attend church and see friends on her days off.

    “Once Ms. Sarmiento arrived in Canada, everything changed,” said Hough. “None of what her employers told her in Hong Kong about what would happen to her in Canada turned out to be true.”

    The couple, Oi Ling Nicole Huen and Franco Yiu Kwan Orr, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to human trafficking charges. They sat quietly in the prisoner’s dock with a Cantonese interpreter by their side.

    The couple had told Sarmiento that after two years of working in Canada, she’d become a permanent resident here and that they’d help move her family here, so she’d be reunited with her three children from the Philippines, said Hough.

    They said that they would follow Canada’s employment rules, with hours and wages similar to what she’d had in Hong Kong, and that her job would be restricted to looking after the kids, with another domestic worker handling housework, he said.

    But after Sarmiento arrived at Vancouver airport on Sept. 9, 2008, none of those promises were kept, said the prosecutor.

    From her arrival until June 2010, nearly two years, Sarmiento did not have a single day off work, slaving away from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, with no overtime pay, he said.

    There was no domestic helper, so she had to do everything, looking after the three kids under the age of five and doing all the housework.

    “In Canada, Mr. Orr and Ms. Huen controlled Ms. Sarmiento’s movements. She was not permitted to leave the house other than in the company of one of them. She was not given a key to the house, she was not permitted to speak to anyone outside the house.”

    As a result of her living conditions, Sarmiento had no friends and was soon “very isolated” in Canada, said Hough.

    “Of course, if she had been permitted to socialize with other nannies, she would have quickly discovered that things were not as they should have been.”

    The couple withheld her passport so her opportunity to leave the country was taken away.

    Things reached a head on June 13, 2010 when Sarmiento had a physical altercation with Huen and called 911, said Hough. Police arrived and she was taken to a women’s shelter.

    Only then did she discover from police that she was in Canada illegally, said Hough.

    Orr had got her a six-month visitor’s visa, which had long expired by the time police were called.

    The visa application in Hong Kong had indicated an intention to stay in Canada only temporarily, and an extension to the visa was refused, noted Hough.

    When Orr and Huen moved to Canada with Sarmiento, the couple had “legal status” to do so, having lived in Canada previously.

    The prosecutor told the jury of nine women and three men that Sarmiento had been born in the Philippines and had worked as a nanny in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon before moving to Hong Kong and being employed by the accused.

    If convicted, the accused face a maximum fine of $1 million or a maximum term of life in prison, or both.

    The trial is expected to run for three weeks and hear from nine Crown witnesses. Several witnesses, possibly including the victim, are expected to testify Thursday.

    Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/Court+hears+nanny+horror+story+trial+couple+worked/8451587/story.html#ixzz2Uu94rvXi
  2. the mechanic

    the mechanic Active Member

    ... the crown's case has no credibility. it's simply impossible to believe that this woman the prosecutor says was forced to act as a slave couldn't leave of her own free will any time she wanted to. yet another phony baloney frame-up by the crown in british columbia ...
  3. the mechanic

    the mechanic Active Member

    ... the reason the crown went after these folks is because they're new to the country, they're wealthy (money for the lawyers) and easy to push around because of substandard english language skills. it's very easy to see through the bc government's extortion scams ...
  4. Dan

    Dan Junior Member

    The crown obviously felt compelled to prosecute based on credible evidence. Furthermore, without being a resident you can’t do much without a passport; so it’s not that easy to just pack up and leave.
  5. vancouverfun

    vancouverfun Full Member

    Threat of a return to the Philippines forced nanny to obey rules of alleged human traffickers, court hears

    Former nanny Leticia Sarmiento arrives at the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Thursday to testify in a human trafficking trial.

    Photograph by: Jonathan Hayward , CP
    A Filipino nanny says her employers threatened to send her back to the Philippines if she complained about her 16-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week work schedule in Vancouver.

    Leticia Sarmiento testified Friday that Oi Ling Nicole Huen poked her in the head and frequently called her stupid in Chinese as she struggled to comply with the workload.

    Huen and her husband Franco Yiu Kwan Orr have pleaded not guilty to human trafficking charges arising from allegations they kept Sarmiento in domestic servitude for nearly two years.

    Court heard that Sarmiento came to Canada from Hong Kong with Huen and Orr to take care of their three young children.
    She says she was treated well in Hong Kong but that her life changed dramatically when she got to Canada in September 2008.
    Sarmiento, a mother of three children who remain in the Phillipines, said she was told she would only have to care for the couple’s children and not do any housework.

    But a few weeks after she arrived in Vancouver, Huen handed her a work schedule that required her to get up every morning at 7 a.m. and continue working until nearly 11 p.m., she told a B.C. Supreme Court jury.

    Every day she prepared all of the meals for the three kids, changed their clothes and made dinner for Orr and Huen. At dinner time, she ate at the counter, not the table.

    She mopped the floors, vacuumed the rugs, cleaned the rooms and the kitchen and took out the garbage.

    Late in the evening, she’d head to the laundry room to do the ironing, before taking a five-minute bath and tumbling into bed.
    Often, she’d be woken in the middle of the night by the baby sleeping with her and have to hold her and mix some milk for her.

    “It’s always the same,” said Sarmiento, who cried during her testimony.

    “That’s the same schedule every day.”

    “This was more work than you were doing in Hong Kong?” asked Crown counsel Charles Hough.

    “Too much,” she replied.

    “Did you say something to Ms. Huen about why you had to do so much work?” said Hough.

    “I told her,” said Sarmiento. “But she said your contract in Hong Kong is not yet over, it’s necessary that you finish the contract and whatever rules I have, you have to follow them.”

    “Did Ms. Huen say what would happen if you didn’t follow those rules?” asked Hough.

    “She was telling me that if I did not obey whatever she was telling me, then I would go back to the Philippines.”

    Sarmiento said while she had weekends off and statutory holidays in Hong Kong, she had no days off at all in Canada.

    “Did you ask her why you weren’t getting weekends off?” asked Hough.

    “I asked her, she said that I’m not a permanent (resident) so you cannot go out.”

    There was a key pad on the front door of the Grant Street home but the couple did not give her the code and she was not allowed to leave by herself, she told the jury.

    She said she learned the Chinese word for stupid from Huen, who used the word “all the time” and would poke her in the head.

    “When did she start calling you stupid in Chinese?” asked Hough.

    “From the time we started living on Grant Street,” she replied.

    The nanny said she was paid just $490 in cash a month and when she asked for more, Huen told her that her contract in Hong Kong was not yet over. She’d earned $500 a month in Hong Kong, just caring for the children, she’d earlier testified.

    She said she was allowed to wire most of the money back to her family in the Philippines but Orr always accompanied her when she did so.

    Sarmiento said she was only allowed outside the house when she was with the couple and was not permitted to speak to anyone.
    A regular churchgoer in Hong Kong, she was not allowed to attend church in Vancouver after Huen told her there were no Filipino churches in the city, she said.

    She was allowed to use a home phone to call her family in the Philippines but Huen always stood beside her and she could make no private phone calls.

    She’d had a cell phone in Hong Kong but was not allowed to use one in Canada after Huen told her it would distract her from her duties caring for the children, she said.

    She was told to set aside money every month in case she got sick and had no medical coverage while she was living with the couple, she said.

    The trial continues.

    Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/Threat return Philippines forced nanny obey rules alleged human traffickers court hears/8463171/story.html#ixzz2UzPlydoa
  6. the mechanic

    the mechanic Active Member

    ... show us the evidence and we'll consider it. until then the crown's case here is as hard to believe as that phony rob ford crack smoking tape the news media seems to think is real too. don't believe a word of it. furthermore, the bc government doesn't have the legal authority to prosecute people -- christy clark sure ain't the law of the land ...
  7. Dan

    Dan Junior Member

    Show who the evidence?? The prosecution will present their case in due time.
    Also, our legal system is subject to the Constitution of Canada.
  8. the mechanic

    the mechanic Active Member

    ... the public. if the crown is going to make the claim to the public through the media that this couple is guilty of slavery then they damn well better come up with some hard evidence. which they haven't done in this case ...
  9. the mechanic

    the mechanic Active Member

    ... holy smokes! THE NANNY is the guilty party here! she's in the country illegally. man, court trials are upside down in christy clark's british columbia ...

    ... the wealthy couple is being unfairly targeted by the crown ...
  10. milquetoast

    milquetoast Senior Member

    @the mechanic, you have a very odd understanding of how our justice system works. There's an issue at hand which the court will decide after both sides present their evidence.

    You're the one jumping to conclusions.

    I have a question for you, which one of the surrounding shapes matches the central circle in level of contrast?

  11. the mechanic

    the mechanic Active Member

    ... wrong. i'm making a judgment based on the evidence provided, which is what you're supposed to do when you reply to a topic on a message board. what game are you playing on this board?

    ... further, employing someone as a nanny is not human trafficking in any sense of the term as the crown is telling the public. even the crown knows this couple isn't guilty of human trafficking. at the very the most they might be guilty of being poor employers, but there's no evidence that suggests they were involved in human trafficking ...

    ... and it's not against the law, let alone a crime, to be a poor employer. you lose. the crown loses. deal with it ...
  12. the mechanic

    the mechanic Active Member

    ... there's no trafficking taking place in this case, human or otherwise. which humans does the crown say were bought or sold or moved somewhere as a result of a commercial transaction? the nanny!?!? why do they believe that? but the truth is they don't believe it: it's just another phony baloney trial undertaken by gangster vancouver lawyers and it shows utter contempt for the law from the prosecutors union ...

    ... put yourself in the shoes of the accused couple here. just think of how frightening it would be to be charged with a crime that the government knows damn well isn't justified. just think of how frightening it would be to have the government demonstrate how much it detests you, that it detests you so much that it would go after you AND YOUR SPOUSE (!!!) in such a hateful, malicious way ...

    ... christy sure ain't the law of the land and this is yet another rotten bc prosecution that proves it ...
  13. vancouverfun

    vancouverfun Full Member

    Vancouver man 'in shock' after being found guilty of enslaving Filipino nanny

    Franco Yui Kwan Orr and his partner Oi Ling Nicole Huen arrive at the B.C. Supreme court in downtown Vancouver, B.C. Thursday, May 30, 2013. Following two days of deliberations, a B.C. Supreme Court jury convicted Orr of the charges involving Leticia Sarmiento. His wife was acquitted.

    A Vancouver man accused of bringing a Filipino nanny to Canada and enslaving her has been found guilty of human trafficking charges, while his wife and co-accused was acquitted.
    Following two days of deliberations, a B.C. Supreme Court jury convicted Franco Orr of the charges involving Leticia Sarmiento. His wife, Nicole Huen, was acquitted.
    “My clients are in shock frankly,” said Nicholas Preovolos, a lawyer for the accused. “They’re stunned. The jury believed a number of allegations about Mr. Orr but not the allegations against Ms. Huen.”
    It’s believed to be the first such conviction for human trafficking in Canada.
    The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $1 million fine.
    But Preovolos said Orr was a 50-year-old father of three kids, all under the age of 10, and had never been in trouble with the law before. He called for a sentence of house arrest.
    “He is not a danger to the public. He won’t hurt anyone.”
    The Crown declined to comment. A date for sentencing has been put over to July 10.
    Sarmiento testified that she was brought to Canada with promises that the couple would help get her permanent resident status within two years and help bring her three children to Vancouver from the Philippines.
    The 40-year-old nanny told the jury that life was good for her while she was caring for the couple’s three children in Hong Kong but that things changed dramatically when she arrived in Canada in September 2008.
    Sarmiento said she was suddenly required to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week, with no days off and no statutory holidays.
    There was a domestic helper in Hong Kong, who did the household chores such as cooking and cleaning, but Sarmiento said that in Canada she had to do those chores in addition to her caregiving duties.
    She said that after a temporary visitor visa was acquired in Hong Kong, the couple withheld her passport from her.
    In Canada, they restricted her movements and prevented her from talking to anyone, she claimed.
    But the couple’s lawyer argued that she had lied under oath, citing a dozen examples in which she was allegedly not telling the truth.
    The defence also claimed that she was motivated by a civil lawsuit that she had filed against the couple, a suit that has yet to be heard in B.C. Supreme Court.
    Orr took the stand in his own defence and told the jury that Sarmiento had begged to accompany the family to Canada after he told her that his financial situation had worsened and that he would have to fire her.
    He denied the alleged mistreatment in Canada and said that after Sarmiento’s temporary visitor visa expired, she pleaded with them to allow them to stay in Canada.
    The Crown in turn argued that Orr was argumentative and combative during his testimony.
    Court heard that in June 2010, Sarmiento called 911 after getting into a confrontation with Huen. You can hear excerpts from that call below.

    Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Vancouver+shock+after+being+found+guilty+enslaving+Filipino+nanny/8584321/story.html#ixzz2XRNNuSGr
  14. the mechanic

    the mechanic Active Member

    ... the verdict is consistent with bogus proceedings ...
  15. lumix

    lumix Full Member

    Why did they acquit the wife? Did they mean the wife is not aware of what her husband is doing?
  16. the mechanic

    the mechanic Active Member

    ... the judgment is a racist, sexist judgment. good ol' bigoted vancouver just wanted to hang an asian man ...

    ... we're getting pretty damn sick of all of the hangings we're hearing about in that city ...:mad:

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