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New City woman gets up to 3 years in slave labor case

Parveen Jagota, 59, of New City was sentenced

Parveen Jagota, 59, of New City was sentenced Jan. 29 to up to three years in prison for enslaving her daughter-in-law. (Jan. 29, 2013) Photo Credit: Rockland County District Attorney's office

A New City woman was sentenced Tuesday to up to three years in prison for keeping a 25-year-old Indian immigrant in slave labor at her family's home.

Parveen Jagota, 59, of Butternut Drive, was convicted in February of two counts of labor trafficking and one count of second-degree assault, felonies, following a nonjury trial in Rockland County Court.

The victim, now 25, was brought to the United States for an arranged marriage to Jagota's son, Vishal Jagota.

But once she got here, prosecutors said, she endured beatings and was forced to serve the family. She married Vishal Jagota, was held captive and was forced into labor for the family from January 2008 to September 2010, prosecutors said.

"The sentencing will hopefully provide some measure of justice for the young victim in this case and allow her to move on with her life," Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said.

Jagota's lawyer, Daniel Bertolino of West Nyack, said Jagota planned to appeal her conviction. He noted that 53 of the 57 charges against Parveen Jagota, her son, her daughter Rajani Jagota and her husband, Aman Jagota, resulted in acquittal. Those charges centered on allegations by the woman that Aman Jagota sexually abused the young woman.

"My client ... went to state prison on the testimony of a woman who was found by the judge to be not believable on 93 percent of the charges," Bertolino said.

Vishal Jagota was convicted by Rockland County Court Judge William Nelson of misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to probation. Rajani Jagota was convicted of the same charges as her mother and also received a sentence of up to three years in prison. Aman Jagota was cleared of all charges.

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