From BlackVoices

A New Jersey man from the West African nation of Togo is behind bars after forcing at least 20 women to work without pay in hair braiding salons.

According to the Associated Press, 47-year-old Lassissi Afolabi, a citizen of the Togolese Republic, was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison after he admitted to smuggling Togolese women and girls into the U.S. from 2002 through 2007 and making the young women, in effect, modern day slaves at hair salons throughout Newark and East Orange, NJ.

The Star Ledger reported that the women suffered beatings, psychological torture and sexual abuse. A federal judge in Newark described Afolabi’s crimes as “horrific” and ordered him to also repay his victims $3.9 million in restitution.

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