- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A federal grand jury has indicted a Minnesota restaurant owner in a labor trafficking case.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 71-year-old Pisanu “Pat” Sukhtipyaroge of Maplewood faces one count of forced labor. The indictment comes two weeks after Sukhtipyaroge was charged in Anoka County with forcing a teenager from the Dominican Republic to work long hours for low wages and perform sex acts.

The federal indictment alleges Sukhtipyaroge threatened the unidentified victim “and another person” with force, physical restraint and abuse of the legal process if the victim failed to work for him.

Sukhtipyaroge owns the Royal Orchid restaurant in Columbia Heights. He is due in federal court Friday.

His attorney in the federal case, Frederick Goetz, tells the Star Tribune that Sukhtipyaroge looks forward to “pleading not guilty and vigorously fighting these charges.”

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