For months the woman was repeatedly beaten and forced to have sex, and when police found her she pleaded with them to take her away from the Greenwood home.
Three Greenwood residents have been arrested and face human trafficking charges after investigators said they held two women against their will at their home in Homecoming at University Park, an eastside Greenwood neighborhood.
Gurdeep Singh Dhaliwal, 29, has been charged with human trafficking, while Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, 31, and Amarjit Dhaliwal, 65, were charged with aiding in human trafficking.
All three face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the felony charges, Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper said.
This is the first time anyone has been charged with human trafficking in Johnson County in at least 20 years and one of few times in Indiana, Cooper said.
“It’s just an overwhelmingly sad, pathetic, tragic situation,” he said. “It’s hard to even get your mind around that this happens in our county.”
In August, Greenwood police officers were called to a home in the 2800 block of Treehouse Pass. Officers were told Gurdeep Dhaliwal’s wife, her sister and a 21-month-old child were being held in the house against their will. When police went to the house, the two women begged officers to take them away because they were afraid of their husbands, Gurdeep Dhaliwal and Kuldeep Dhaliwal, according to a Greenwood Police Department report.
Gurdeep Dhaliwal’s wife told police she had come to the U.S. 13 months earlier as part of an arranged marriage to Dhaliwal and that the pair were married in September 2012. Within days after their wedding, she told police, her husband began hitting her and forcing her to have sex repeatedly. The day before police were called, he had slapped her in the ear, and she went to the hospital because she was in so much pain, the report said.
The woman told police she was afraid of Gurdeep Dhaliwal but couldn’t get away from him because of his strength. He also would not let her leave the house alone, she said.
She told police he threatened to beat her or have her deported if she didn’t do what she was told, including household chores and taking care of his mother, Amarjit Dhaliwal, the report said. She told police he also had dragged her down the stairs, beaten her with a mop handle and raised a large knife and threatened to cut her head off.
Gurdeep Dhaliwal’s brother, Kuldeep Dhaliwal, who was married to the woman’s sister, also forced his wife to care for their mother, she told police. Kuldeep Dhaliwal’s wife told police she was beaten by her husband as well, the report said.
After the three were arrested, the two women and the 21-month-old were taken to a confidential protected location run by an organization that helps victims of human trafficking. Through the organization the women, who immigrated based on their marriage status, will be able to work with immigration officials to find a new place to live, Cooper said.
Gurdeep, Kuldeep and Amarjit Dhaliwal were taken to the Johnson County jail, and released on $50,000 bond.