3 Chinese Women Held Captive Freed

From Associated Press

Three young Chinese women were freed from a Sunset District home where they allegedly were forced to do domestic labor and live in the basement with no contact with the outside world, authorities said Friday.

John Majka, chief investigator for the San Francisco district attorney's office, said the women appeared healthy and in good spirits when FBI and immigration officials took them from the modest 22nd Avenue flat where they had been living.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the women, ages 14, 19 and 20, had been recruited in China to study dance at a fictitious school called the San Francisco College of Music and Theater Arts and live in dormitories, Majka said.

One woman had been at the home almost a year and another since October, he said. Officials were not sure how long the third had been there.

The women, who had no money and no place to go, were placed in protective custody at a "safe location" pending outcome of the investigation, Majka said. Immigration and Naturalization Service officials said they were unsure of the women's immigration status.

The homeowner was identified only as a Chinese man. Because many of the documents seized at the home were in Chinese, Majka said.

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