Washington, May 14 (PTI) An American family of Pakistani origin was convicted on Friday of domestic forced labour on a Pakistani woman for 12 years, federal prosecutors said.

A federal jury found the family members -- Zahida Aman, Mohammad Nauman Chaudhri and Mohammad Rehan Chaudhri -- subjecting the victim to physical and mental abuse for more than 12 years. They now face a prison term ranging from five to 20 years.

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They slapped, kicked and pushed the victim, even beat her with wooden boards, and on one occasion, hog-tied her hands and feet and dragged her down the stairs in front of her children, according to a media release.

Even after the victim's husband moved away, the defendants kept her in their Virginia home, often forcing her to perform increasingly laborious tasks, including stripping and staining a deck by hand, mowing the one-acre lawn with a push mower, hand-washing and line-drying area rugs, painting the inside and outside of their two-story home, picking out debris from car carpets with a tweezer and constructing a concrete walkway in front of the home -- a task that required the victim to haul 80-pound bags of concrete before mixing and pouring cement, it alleged.

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"The defendants exploited the victim's trust and inflicted cruel and inhumane physical and mental abuse on her, all so they could keep her working in their home as their domestic servant," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke.

"The defendants exploited someone who should have been a loved family member to force her to work in their home for over 14 years," said US Attorney Jessica D Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia.

"Forced labour, the modern-day equivalent of slavery, has no place in our country or district, and we will stop at nothing to prosecute those that commit these or similar crimes. Let this conviction serve as a light to survivors impacted by labour trafficking and as a deterrent to those conspiring to commit heinous labour trafficking crimes," Aber said.

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