- A woman from the Philippines has been treated “like a slave” by a couple from Sydney, Australia.
- They made her work long hours and didn’t pay her at all.
- The couple has since pleaded guilty after years of abusing the unnamed woman.
Back in 2013, Sheila and Joshua McAleer of Sydney, Australia lured a woman from the Philippines to work for them. Seeking greener pastures, the unnamed Filipina grabbed the opportunity but flew to Australia using a tourist visa – which is not a legal way to work in the country.
Instead of living a better life, however, nightmare began for the recruited worker as she ended up being treated like a slave by the McAleers. They required her to work long hours cleaning and caring for the couple’s children in their Rockdale home.
Joshua and Sheila McAleer of Sydney, Australia
They also confiscated her visa after it expired and they told her she couldn’t return to her home country – unless she has paid her travel expenses in full.
Starting in 2015, the couple also forced her to work in their grocery and eatery stores.
The victim shared:
“I felt like a slave but didn’t say anything… I had no power to change my situation. I did not know when I came that I would have to work 24 hours a day. I did not get paid for my work.”
Fortunately, the poor Filipina was able to escape them in 2016 and stayed with a friend. The McAleers, on the other hand, hired a private detective to find her. They also warned her that they know “higher up” people and even threatened to harm her family in the Philippines.
Now Sheila and Joshua McAleer have offered to pay their victim $70,000. They have also pleaded guilty to several charges in court and will be sentenced in June, with a possible maximum sentence of 10 years.
Crown prosecutor Jennier Single said about the victim:
“She had such little money she couldn’t even get a taxi to the airport, let alone buy herself a ticket to leave the country.”