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Martha and Robert Smalanskas must pay nanny $150,000 or face jail time

BOSTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts couple prosecutors say treated their nanny as a “house slave” for 13 years have been sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to pay the woman $150,000.

Martha Smalanskas and her husband, Richard, parents of three from the town of Harvard, were sentenced Wednesday in federal court. They must pay the restitution by Jan. 1 or face prison time.

The Boston Globe reports they pleaded guilty earlier to misdemeanor charges of violating federal labor laws.

Prosecutors say they brought the woman from her native Bolivia even though she was not legally allowed to stay in the U.S.

She was paid less than $3,000 for the 13 years she cooked, cleaned, cared for their children.

A defense lawyer said the relationship was more positive than described by prosecutors.


In the 1850s, a fugitive slave penned a fictionalized autobiography that would somehow end up collecting dust in an attic in New Jersey. Nearly a century later, an African-American librarian bought it from a New York City bookseller for $85. In 2001, famed scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. bought the manuscript at auction for $8,500. The next year, the novel “The Bondwoman’s Narrative” was published and became a bestseller.

Though the book – believed to be the first written by an African-American woman – was signed by Hannah Crafts, the real identity of the author has remained an enigma. Now a professor in South Carolina says he has solved the mystery. http://cbsn.ws/17M6vKr

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