FBI Investigating Elizabethtown human trafficking case - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

FBI Investigating Elizabethtown human trafficking case

Source: U.S. Marshal's Service Source: U.S. Marshal's Service

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - A prominent Central Kentucky doctor and his ex-wife are facing federal charges of having an illegal immigrant as a maid and holding her against her will.

It was inside a house in the 700 block of Lake Freeman Road that Javier Arce and his former wife Christina Arce are accused of holding an illegal Bolivian woman and making her work as their maid from 1994 to 2006.

"I was shocked," said Mary Ann Hines who lives across the street from the home, "because that's a serious charge. I just was really surprised and shocked that that happened."

According to a federal grand jury indictment, the couple promised her a monthly salary. However, the woman said she was only paid $20,000 total during her 12 years of labor. Prosecutors say she was told the rest of her money was going into a bank account that never existed.

"Of course, I did not see the lady since we've lived here," said Hines about the Bolivian woman, "I did not know anybody else was over there, I never did see her."

Court papers also accuse Christina Arce of taking the woman's passport and telling the woman she'd be arrested and deported if she left the house.

"You know, I was just surprised. I think the fact the information about that was withheld from her and her passport was withheld," Hines said. "That's what really kind of bothered me. You just think about a person who's held like that."

Even though she lives across the street, Hines said she never suspected her neighbor of anything.

"No. Nothing," said Hines. "I have been in their home, you know, to help her with her studies. Nothing. she just seemed like a normal nice lady."

The indictment also accuses Javier Arce of keeping the woman in his home in the 2600 block of Stonemill Drive after the couple separated from 2006 until 2009.

"This is a small community considering other sizes of other communities," Hines said. "You think you know who lives by you, but, you don't always, I guess."

WAVE 3 knocked on the doors of both homes, but there was no answer. WAVE 3 also stopped by the office of Dr. Javier Arce, but we were told he was not in.

Both Javier Arce and Christina Arce were released from custody on $100,000 bonds. Their court date is set for August 30 in the U.S. District Court in Louisville.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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