- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 8, 2003

A Germantown couple kept a Nigerian teenager as a virtual slave in their house for five years, where she was repeatedly raped and beaten, although her family had been promised she would be paid as a baby sitter and allowed to continue her education in the United States, federal authorities said yesterday.

A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt accuses Dr. Adaobi Stella Udeozor, 44, and her husband, George Chidebe Udeozor, both Nigerian natives, of harboring a juvenile illegal alien for financial gain, inducing an alien to illegally enter the country and conspiracy to harbor an illegal alien.

Dr. Udeozor, a licensed physician who owned the Optimum Care Medical Clinic in Montgomery County, was arrested at her home yesterday during an early morning raid by agents from the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Mr. Udeozor, who served as the clinic’s office manager, is believed to be in Nigeria and is considered a fugitive.

The unidentified victim, now 21, was taken from the Udeozor home in October 2001 after she reported the abusive behavior to Montgomery County police during an emergency telephone call. The matter was then turned over to federal immigration authorities.

According to an affidavit filed in support of a search and arrest warrant, the Udeozors visited the victim’s family in Nigeria in 1996 when she was 14 to make arrangements to bring her to the United States. The affidavit said the Udeozors told the family the girl could continue her studies in this country and they intended to use her as a baby sitter for their own children, for which she would be paid.

The affidavit said Mr. Udeozor smuggled the girl into the United States using his own daughter’s American passport.

The teenager, according to the affidavit, was kept at the Udeozor home for the next five years and forced to care for their five children without being paid. The affidavit also said she was forced to work without pay at the clinic, that she was not allowed to attend school, and that she was warned about being deported because she did not have any legal immigration documents.

Mr. Udeozor, according to the affidavit, forced the girl to have sexual intercourse with him beginning when she was 15.

If convicted, the couple could be sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $250,000.

In March, Optimum Care Medical Clinic pleaded guilty to conspiring with two of its employees to allow and facilitate the unlicensed practice of medicine. Optimum Care conspired with Ahmad Alvi and Theodros Dagnew to allow the two to practice medicine, authorities said, knowing they were not licensed as physicians in Maryland.

Although the clinic was owned by Dr. Udeozor, prosecutors said her husband was responsible for scheduling personnel and, at times when his wife was not present, he hired and scheduled others to see patients, including Mr. Alvi and Mr. Dagnew.

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