- Associated Press - Friday, August 4, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota restaurant owner brought a teenager to America on the promise of education and instead forced him to work long hours for low wages and perform sex acts, a criminal complaint alleges.

Pisanu “Pat” Sukhtipyaroge, 71, of Maplewood, is accused in a criminal complaint of forced labor involving the man, who was 18 years old when he arrived in the United States in 2015 from the Dominican Republic on a student visa, the Star Tribune reported.

Authorities allege that Sukhtipyaroge put the man to work at his restaurant for low pay while deducting the costs of bringing him to the U.S. from the wages in a “debt bondage arrangement.”

The complaint also says Sukhtipyaroge threatened to contact immigration officials to have the man deported if he didn’t engage in sexual activity. The man told authorities that he’s “very fearful” of Sukhtipyaroge, according to the document.

The criminal complaint says the teenager only attended high school for a short time before Sukhtipyaroge said he wasn’t allowed to go to classes. Sukhtipyaroge then kicked the man out of his home, allowing him to live in a storage room below the Royal Orchid restaurant in Columbia Heights, according to the court filing.



The complaint says the man told authorities that Sukhtipyaroge chats with young teenage boys online in pursuit of sexual activity and travels to foreign countries to engage in sex acts with young boys. The filing says law enforcement executed a search warrant at Sukhtipyaroge’s home and found bags containing what appeared to be “boy/teen’s underwear.” Officials also found videos on a computer seized from Sukhtipyaroge showing him performing sex acts with the victim, according to the document.

Court records don’t list an attorney for Sukhtipyaroge who could comment on his behalf. An answering machine message at the restaurant says it’s closed until Aug. 8.

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This story has been corrected to show that Sukhtipyaroge lives in Maplewood, not Columbia Heights.

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Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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