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Long Island Couple Convicted of Enslaving 2 Domestic Workers for Years



CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. � The so-called Muttontown slave trial involved a wild barrage of testimony by two Indonesian domestic workers who were employed � and, prosecutors say, enslaved and tortured for years � by a well-to-do couple on Long Island. And the verdict Monday morning made for no less wild a scene.
When it was announced that the jury in U.S. District Court here had found the couple, Mahender and Varsha Sabhnani, guilty, Ms. Sabhnani and one of their three daughters fainted, according to the authorities and to friends of the Sabhnanis.
Both were taken to the hospital, from which they were later reported released.
Judge Arthur D. Spatt cleared the courtroom before he had a chance to poll the jurors and ask them what monetary damages the couple should be ordered to pay the two former employees.
The Sabhnanis � who were convicted on 12 counts, including involuntary servitude, conspiracy, forced labor and the harboring of aliens � could also face up to 40 years in prison.
The determination of damages was postponed until Tuesday morning.