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Nigerian Woman Convicted Of Luring Girls To Work As Slaves

Atlanta Lawyer > Atlanta News  > Nigerian Woman Convicted Of Luring Girls To Work As Slaves

Nigerian Woman Convicted Of Luring Girls To Work As Slaves

Investigators call it a case of modern day slavery. They said 41-year-old Bidemi Bello separately recruited two young women from Nigeria and brought them her home in Suwanee, to work as her nanny with the promise of putting them through school.

But when she got the women to the United States, prosecutors said she became abusive.

“She beat them when they didn’t do their tasks fast enough, she beat them when they didn’t get to her crying daughter fast enough,” Susan Coppedge, Assistant U.S. Attorney, said.

Prosecutors said Bello forced the girls to do chores by hand, despite having modern appliances.

They regularly had to clean this fence with bleach and cut the grass, without a lawnmower, according to prosecutors.

“They were given a primitive tool; it was a knife with a handle on it. They were required to go out and chop the grass using that,” Coppedge said.

When Bello lost the home to foreclosure she moved to another home in Sugar Hill, where prosecutors said she continued to abuse the girls, beating them and making them eat old, moldy food.

Neighbors said they remember thinking something was strange.

“I used to drive by and there would be green shower curtains on the basement windows so we couldn’t see in,” neighbor Susan Wegman said.

The investigation began when one of the girls escaped by calling a cab to the house and going to a church for help.

“It’s shocking that this goes on in Atlanta. These girls worked for two-and-a-half years, one of them, the other woman, for a year-and-a-half. They were never paid,” Coppedge said.

“People like this should be punished. People shouldn’t be treated like that,” Wegman said.

Sentencing for Bello is set for Aug. 24.

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