JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA/NBC News) — A Florida woman is facing up to 20 years in prison after she pleaded guilty Monday to forced labor in a bizarre human smuggling case.
Esthela Clark, 47, of Jacksonville, admitted that she paid $3,000 to smuggle a woman into the United States from Mexico in 2012 to use her as a surrogate mother.
Prosecutors say Clark told the woman there would be medical supervision for the surrogacy, but instead held her against her will, abused her and forced her to do housekeeping labor.
Clark also used her boyfriend’s sperm from used condoms to try and get the woman pregnant. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says, when that didn’t work, the victim was forced to have sex with two men.
Prosecutors say between December 2012 and January 2015, the woman was fed a diet of only beans and was forced to sleep on a dining room floor. She lost 65 pounds.
Clark was arrested in 2015 after someone living nearby called authorities when she saw the victim doing chores, and showing signs of abuse.