FBI: Girl was raped, forced to cook and clean

/ Source: The Associated Press

Two men took a 16-year-old girl from New York to Indiana and subjected her to sexual abuse, forced labor and beatings during a six-month ordeal, federal prosecutors said.

Yan Niang Soe, 22, and Johnathan A. Sullivan, 23, were charged with forced labor and trafficking with respect to forced labor, and more charges could come later, authorities said.

On Wednesday, a federal judge ordered them held in temporary custody until they are transferred to New York, which has jurisdiction.

Authorities say the two took the girl from Buffalo, N.Y., where she lives, to Indiana, where she was repeatedly raped and forced to cook and clean for one of the men and baby-sit for the other man's children.

The ordeal ended when another man allowed her to use his cell phone and she summoned a friend. She was reunited with her parents last month, authorities said.

Soe, who was born in Myanmar and is not a U.S. citizen, met her in 2007 and became enamored with her, according to an FBI account. The girl, also an immigrant, knew Soe's sister, the affidavit said.

Sullivan and Soe later saw her at a park and offered to take her to a party in Fort Wayne. The girl allegedly agreed, not realizing Fort Wayne, which has a large community of immigrants from Myanmar, was some 350 miles away in Indiana.

After arriving in Fort Wayne, Soe and Sullivan would not let the girl call her mother, the FBI said, and Soe led the girl to believe that it was dangerous for her to go outside and she could go to jail for being a runaway if she returned to Buffalo.

The girl was locked in a room for two days without food at one point, the FBI said.

Soe would beat her if she did not cook and clean, and forced her to have sex several times, the FBI said. The girl became pregnant in August after being raped, according to a criminal complaint, although she is no longer pregnant. Authorities did not elaborate.

Defense lawyer Kerry Connor, with the Federal Community Defender's office, declined to comment on the case.