An Italian Consulate clerk and his wife have been indicted by a grand jury after being accused last year of abusing their Brazilian nanny.
Giuseppe and Kesia Penzato hired the woman as a domestic servant in 2009, but then forced her to work longer hours and withheld her pay, according to the indictment, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The couple also is accused of using physical force against the woman, identified in court documents only as “C.D.,” to sign another contract for less money. Her passport was allegedly withheld and she did not have a key to the couple’s home, where she lived.
Giuseppe Penzato’s attorney was unavailable for comment Sunday, but said last year the alleged victim’s “bogus” claims were part of an attempt to stay in the U.S.
The couple is facing felony charges of forced labor and conspiracy to obtain forced labor. They remain out of custody.