The illegal immigrant from India allegedly forced by Annie George to work as a servant for 5 1/2 years in her upstate New York mansion told a court of her harsh working conditions.
Valsamma Mathai, 49, testified before a federal jury in Albany, N.Y., about how she escaped from George’s mansion, where she allegedly endured 18-hour shifts and was unable to take time off.
"I had to escape from there," Mathai, of Kerala, India, told the jury Tuesday, the Albany Times-Union reported. "I told her many times it was too much work."
George, 40, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of harboring an illegal alien for financial gain.
Mathai said she was never allowed to take vacations, sick days, or see a doctor. “Take some Tylenol,” George advised her when she was sick, she testified.
The Kerala native also told the Albany jury about how she wound up at the 26-bedroom Llenroc mansion in Rexford, N.Y., where George lived with her husband and six children.
She said she met a man at a bus stop in New York City, where she was working as a domestic servant, who promised her a better employment opportunity and a husband, CBS6 reported.
Mathai claimed the Georges promised her $1,000 a month, but she wound up with as little as $30, according to the Albany television station.
George’s attorney, Mark Sacco, said George hired a second servant who left and encouraged Mathai to follow her but she declined.
"Without getting my hard-earned money, I would not be leaving,” Mathai told the court, according to the Times-Union.
Mathai began working for the Georges in 2005 and left in May 2011, when federal agents descended on the home after being tipped off about the allegations.
It’s unclear whether Annie George will testify. She made news in 2009 when her husband and oldest son died in a plane crash.
Howard Koplowitz reports on crime and breaking news events for International Business Times. Howard formerly worked on IBT's continuous news desk, where he covered trending...