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Apr 20th
Home Sections MiscellaNEWS Human-Trafficking and Slavery Filipina Victim Awarded $1-million (As Updated)
Human-Trafficking and Slavery Filipina Victim Awarded $1-million (As Updated) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 17 February 2011 10:07



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Filipino Couple that Hired Victim Now in Jail and Will Be Deported After Completing Sentence. Both Defendants Are Physicians


CHICAGO (jGLi) – The United States District Court for Eastern Wisconsin in Milwaukee has ordered a Filipino immigrant couple to pay a Filipina caregiver $1-million in punitive damages after they were found liable for Civil RICO violation for human trafficking with respect to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, harboring an alien, mail and wire frauds.


The $1-million award is on top of the nearly $916,635 in restitution prosecutors said the couple owed for two decades Irma Martinez who worked for them as a maid, cook, nanny and car trouble-shooter. The couple has so far paid Martinez $700,000 from a retirement account and a $150,000 from their withdrawal taxes.


In a four-page judgment, Judge Lynn Adelman also found Jefferson N. Calimlim and Elnora M. Calimlim, both doctors of medicine, liable for Civil RICO conspiracy, Wisconsin Organized Crime Control Act, involuntary servitude in violation of the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, trafficking with respect to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude or forced labor violation.


The Calimlims were ordered to pay Irma Martinez $1-million “to cover punitive and compensatory damages for non-physical injuries. The Judgment is deemed immediately and fully satisfied.”


The court order said the Calimlims, who are still in federal prisons, “by stipulation, irrevocably and fully waive any and all right to appeal the Judgment, to have it vacated or set aside, to seek or obtain a new trial thereon, or otherwise to attack in any way, directly or collaterally, its validity or enforceability.”


Defendants’ Children Not Liable


T he order did not find liable “the children of the defendants Christina Calimlim, Jefferson M. Calimlim and Christopher Jack Calimlim for any of the claims or allegations against them set forth in the Complaint.”


In a subsequent “mandate” issued last Jan. 20, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, Illinois, said “upon consideration of the motion for voluntary dismissal, filed by appellants Christina Calimlim, Christopher Calimlim and Jefferson M. Calimlim on Jan. 18, 2011, it is ordered that this case is dismissed, pursuant to Federal Rule for Appellate Procedure.”


Last Jan. 6, Judge Adelman had earlier “dismissed with prejudice and without costs to any party” in the case against plaintiff Irma Martinez and Defendants Jefferson N. Calimlim, Elnora M. Calimlim, Jefferson M. Calimlim, Christopher Jack Calimlim, and Christina Calimlim, and Intervening Defendants General Casualty Company of Wisconsin, Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Floridian Insurance Company, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, State Farm General Insurance Company.


In 2008, the Calimlim couple was convicted by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to four years in prison of the crime of forced labor, harboring an alien for private financial gain. The couple challenged the ruling.


The appellate court (the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit) rejected their appeal and ordered the U.S. District court to re-sentence the couple to another felony offense – using minors to commit a crime.


Chief U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa increased their sentence from four to six years.


Civil Case Also Filed Against Defendants


A fter securing a conviction of the Calimlim couple, Martinez filed a civil case assisted by Washington, D.C.-based Jenner & Block’s associate, Martina E. Vandenberg. When reached for comment, Attorney Vandenberg told this reporter, “I have no comment.”


The couple will be released from prisons on the same date: June 1, 2012. Elnora, 65, is being held at the U.S. Penitentiary – Hazelton in the mountains of Preston County West Virginia while her husband, Jefferson, 66, is confined at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown, Ohio.


Because they never applied for U.S. citizenship although they were both legal resident aliens when they came to the United States in the 1970’s, they would have to serve out their sentences before they are deported to the Philippines.


Court records show that the couple and their children lived in their $1.2-million palatial home in Brookfield, Wisconsin, where they concealed Irma Martinez from their close friends.


In the re-sentencing memorandum, defense attorney Dean Strang disclosed that when Elnora administered CPR and restored both respiration and a pulse to a seriously ill inmate whose breathing stopped, she was admonished not to practice medicine while in prison.


She was, however, allowed to tutor prisoners for a GED (General Educational Development), equivalent to a high school education, and to be a lay reader for Catholic masses.


Martinez told the court she was hardly allowed to call her family in the Philippines. Her letters to her family were placed inside a second envelope without return addresses.


Court records showed that Martinez was 19 years old when she was brought from the Philippines by Dr. Jovito Mendoza, the father of defendant Elnora Calimlim, to the United States to become a domestic helper in the Calimlim residence in Brookfield in the late 1980s.It said that by telling “Martinez that if she did not do everything they asked, they would not send money back to her family (in the Philippines), the Calimlims also knew that not sending money back home was, for Martinez, a ‘serious harm.’"


It also noted that by keeping Martinez’s passport and never offering to try to regularize her presence in the United States, the Calimlims “intentionally manipulated the situation" to “compel her to remain" as their servant.


The court also pointed out that based on the ample evidence in the record the Calimlims used their children to help conceal Martinez and to keep her in bondage all those (19) years.


Moreover, it said that the use by the Calimlims of their young children to conceal for 19 years the plight of the maid as another felony offence that needed separate sentencing. # # #


Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:  (


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Last Updated on Friday, 18 February 2011 10:47

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