New Jersey braiding salon patrons should feel better knowing that a man who smuggled women into the country to braid hair is facing life in prison for his crime. Lassissi Afolabi plead guilty Wednesday to conspiring with his ex-wife and others to commit forced labor in Newark and East Orange, New Jersey.
According to The Associated Press, the man, who is a native of Togo, took at least 20 women from the country using fake Visas. The women were forced to work at the salons and give up all their earnings. Prosecutors for the trial report that Afolabi and his ex-wife forced the girls to work 14 to 20 hours seven days a week. The women also lived with the couple and were not allowed to make friends, learn English or travel alone. If any of the women disobeyed they were brutally beaten.
Afolabi has been held without bail since September 2007. His ex-wife denies his claims and reports that the girls were treated fairly and paid well. Her trial takes place next month.