• Jacksonville woman tried to impregnate woman smuggled from Mexico, fed her only beans

    By: Jenna Bourne, Action News Jax

    Updated:

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    A Jacksonville woman pleaded guilty on Monday to smuggling a Mexican woman into the country for forced labor.

    The victim said Esthela Clark told her she would pay her to be a pregnancy surrogate.

    Clark was arrested in 2015.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Clark paid so-called “coyotes” $3,000 to smuggle the woman over.

    The criminal complaint said Clark kept the woman captive at an Arlington apartment for about two years.

    Investigators said Clark tried to artificially inseminate the woman with semen from her boyfriend’s used condoms with a syringe on the dining room floor.

    When it didn’t work, the victim said Clark began beating her.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the victim lost 65 pounds after Clark limited her diet exclusively to beans.

    The criminal complaint said Clark isolated the victim from her family and child in Mexico and tried to collect from her family the thousands she paid the “coyotes” to smuggle the victim, with interest.

    Investigators said Clark also forced the Mexican woman to clean her home and work at various local businesses, then hand over the cash.

    A member of Celebration Church rescued the victim, taking her in and calling police.

    Clark was also indicted for human trafficking after the victim said Clark forced her to have sex with multiple men, but that charge was dropped as part of the plea deal.

    “We stand by those allegations,” said U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman William Daniels.

    Clark could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

    ORIGINAL REPORT FROM 2015: One person arrested in Jacksonville human trafficking case

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