A woman who paid people to smuggle a Mexican woman over the border and attempted to inseminate her using syringes pleaded guilty to forced labor, Middle District of Florida acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announced Monday.
Esthela Clark, 47, paid $3,000 to “coyotes,” or people who smuggle others across the border, to bring a woman from Mexico to become her pregnancy surrogate, according to the plea agreement. Clark told the woman the surrogacy would be medically supervised. Instead, she used syringes to draw semen from condoms used by Clark’s boyfriend and unsuccessfully tried to inseminate the woman over a nine-month period.
The 47-year-old physically and psychologically abused the woman and forced her into domestic labor and kept her on a beans-only diet that made her lose 65 pounds. Clark also tried to get the woman’s family to pay her back with interest the amount she had paid to the “coyotes.”
A sentencing date has not been set.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, with Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Cofer prosecuting. Clark faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.