VANCOUVER – A Vancouver resident is scheduled to be sentenced on July 10 after being found guilty of human trafficking and employing a foreign national in the case of a Filipino nanny, according to reports in Canada.
According to the Vancouver Sun, Franco Orr, 50, is believed to be the first Canadian national to be convicted of human trafficking charges in the country.
Orr and his wife, Oi Ling Nicole Huen, 36, was accused of allegedly bringing their Filipino nanny, Leticia Sarmiento, from Hong Kong to Canada in 2008 to work as a live-in caregiver to care for the couple’s three children.
The jury found Huen not guilty of any charges, according to the Sun.
Sarmiento, 40, said she had worked for Orr and Huen in Hong Kong and claimed the couple convinced her to come to Canada with them, promising her permanent resident legal status in Canada after two years of work, the Sun reported.
Sarmiento said once she arrived, she was forced to work 16-hour days, seven days a week and prevented from making phone calls home to the Philippines. She was also not allowed to socialize with other people.
Sarmiento called the police in 2010.
Huen told the Canadian Broadcasting Channel she and her husband were shocked by the jury’s guilty verdict. Huen claims it was Sarmiento who begged to join the family to Canada.
“The only thing we are guilty [of] is being too soft-hearted,” Huen told the CBC. “We should have never agreed to help her maintain the employment contract and bring her over to Canada. We thought we are doing something good to help.”
Sarmiento has filed a civil suit against Orr and Huen. She is seeking monetary damages against the couple.
Orr faces life in prison.
(LA Weekend July 6-9, 2013 Sec A pg.7)