- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SEATTLE (AP) - A Washington state couple is facing federal charges for luring a woman north from Guatemala and forcing her to pick an ornamental shrub.

The Post Intelligencer reported (https://bit.ly/2ptNGcl) Tuesday that Antonio Francisco-Pablo and his wife, Antonia Marcos-Diego, were indicted on charges of conspiracy to encourage an alien to enter the United States and forced labor.

Prosecutors claim they kept the victim from leaving a Forks-area trailer while forcing her to work in the forests picking salal, which is used for floral arrangements. They allegedly said she owed them money and kept all her earnings.

Francisco-Pablo is also accused of sexually assaulting the woman.

Court documents say Marcos has denied the allegations and told investigators it was expensive to bring the woman into the U.S. from Guatemala.

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Information from: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, https://www.seattlepi.com/

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