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Nation in brief: Women convicted of keeping slave

Wed., March 5, 2008

A mother and her adult daughter were convicted Tuesday of keeping a Haitian teen as a slave for six years in their South Florida home, with a jury rejecting their claims that the girl feigned abuse so she could remain in the U.S.

Evelyn Theodore, 74, and Maude Paulin, 52, were convicted of conspiring to violate Simone Celestin’s 13th Amendment rights to be free from slavery and forcing her to work for them.

Paulin, a Miami-Dade County teacher, also was convicted of harboring an illegal alien for financial gain.

Prosecutors alleged that Celestin, now 22, was stolen at age 5 from her mother in a mountain village and forced to pretend she was an orphan at the orphanage Theodore ran in Ranquitte, Haiti.

At age 14, the girl was taken to the U.S. on a 29-day visa. Prosecutors alleged that for the next six years, Celestin’s life consisted of 15-hour work days as an unpaid servant, with no schooling. She escaped in 2005.


Walesa discharged with pacemaker

Former Polish President Lech Walesa was discharged from a Houston hospital Tuesday, four days after surgeons successfully implanted a pacemaker.

The device, which may help the 64-year-old Walesa avoid a heart transplant, was implanted during a two-hour procedure at Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center.


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