|New York courtroom|
A woman is in court after being accused of bringing over her niece to the U.S. in order for her to be her husband’s sex slave, according to court proceedings.
The Queens, New York woman came face to face in court today with her heartbroken sister, the mother of the alleged victim.
Ana Lopez told jurors that she allowed her 15-year-old daughter go to New York illegally because she could not afford to raise her in El Salvador. Lopez said she let the girl stay with her sister, Angelica Mencias, with the promise of a better life.
"If I could have taken the legal route, I would have done it the right way," Lopez said through an interpreter. "But since Angelica gave this opportunity she could not pass it up."
The court appearance marked the first time Lopez from El Salvador was in the U.S., a trip she made in order to testify against her own sister. Prosecutors said that in August 2010, after Angelica, 57, paid a smuggler to help the girl enter the country, she watched her husband, Javier, 38, allegedly rape the girl in his Richmond Hill home after plying her beer and alcohol.
Months earlier, she had the asked the girl to be their surrogate. The girl refused, but came to New York anyway after a promise from the aunt of a good job and education.
Both Menciases faces more than 25 years in prison if convicted of rape, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child charge.