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Convicted Slave Abuser: "I Mentioned They're Witches, Right?"

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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"The victims testified that they were beaten with brooms and umbrellas, slashed with knives, and forced to climb stairs and take freezing showers as punishment. One victim was forced to eat dozens of chili peppers and then was forced to eat her own vomit when she couldn't keep the peppers down," prosecutors in the case against Varsha Sabhnani told the court. For this, the New York City millionaire with a penchant for abusing her Indonesian slaves received 11 years on counts of forced labor, conspiracy, involuntary servitude, and harboring aliens. Rough. Especially considering her near bulletproof defense, which "contended the two women concocted the story as a way of escaping the house for more lucrative opportunities. They also argued that the housekeepers practiced witchcraft and may have abused themselves as part of a self-mutilation ritual." CNN

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