A woman in Florida, originally from Mexico, was busted for paying Mexican smugglers to bring a young mother into the United States to be her surrogate. She then held the woman captive for two and a half years.
47-year-old Esthela Clark, originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, has confessed to smuggling the unnamed 26-year-old victim in after promising to pay her $3,000 to carry her baby for her.
Ms. Clark has children of her own, now adults, but had struggled to conceive with her boyfriend between 2012 and 2015.
The victim was brought from Piedras Negras in Couahila by bus into Texas. She was then taken to Jacksonville, Florida by smugglers. There, she was picked up by Clark and her family in 2012.
They lived together and Clark tried to inseminate her with her boyfriend’s semen up to four times a day while she was ovulating.
When that failed, she forced her to have sex with strangers. She’d then keep the condoms to try more insemination. When none of that worked, she started giving her nothing but cold beans from a can for food, claiming the victim was too fat to get pregnant.
Other incidents include Ms. Clark making her sleep in bleach, forcing her to strip when she was accused of stealing, hitting her with a metal stick, and forcing her to wash her car in very little clothing in cold weather.
She let the woman work, but kept all of her earnings. All the while, Clark threatened her family in Mexico if she ever attempted to escape.
A member of their church suspected abuse and contacted police to rescue the woman.
Clark has pleaded guilty to forced labor as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. She’s facing up to 20 years in prison. She faces deportation if it’s determined that she entered the country illegally.