CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A trio of siblings were indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday on nine counts charging them with conspiracy to commit forced labor and kidnapping.
Guatemalan nationals Domingo Francisco-Juan, Lorenza Domingo-Castaneda and Catarina Domingo-Juan are facing the possibility of life in prison and mandatory restitution for their alleged crimes.
The indictment alleges that between December 2015 and March 2021, the three brought two minors from Guatemala to the U.S. to work at Domingo-Castaneda and Domingo-Juan’s homes. The minors were allegedly compelled by the defendants to provide childcare, cooking and cleaning in the homes and to work outside the homes in local hotels, factories and a restaurant. Domingo-Castaneda and Domingo-Juan are further alleged to have forced a third minor to work in their homes and at a local business.
Department of Justice officials said the defendants used false promises of a better life and education to coerce the victims’ mothers into sending their daughters to the U.S. and live with the defendants. Once in the U.S., the defendants allegedly isolated the victims in their homes, restricted communication with their families in Guatemala and subjected them to physical, verbal and psychological abuse.
This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Champaign Police Department, Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The DOJ said that if anyone has information about human trafficking, they should report the information to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. More information can be found on the hotline’s website.