A woman who controlled her victims by claiming to be the voice of God has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for harboring two illegal immigrants from Mexico and forcing them to work for her without pay.
She was also ordered to pay $795,000 in restitution to her two victims.
Olga Sandra Murra has been in federal custody since her conviction in August on two counts of forced labor and two counts of harboring illegal aliens. The Justice Department announced her sentence this week.
According to prosecutors, Murra was born in Mexico and live there until 1997 when she moved to Texas with her family and others, including V.R., an adult female from Mexico and one of the illegal immigrants she exploited. Then, in 1998, Murra arranged to have I.G. — another adult female from Mexico — brought to the U.S. illegally.
Murra kept the women’s identification documents and forced the women to work long hours, up to seven days a week, for her house cleaning business. Murra would subsequently make the women relinquish all their earnings to her. She also used them as her own personal servants, making the women clean her house and prepare her meals — also without pay.
The women stayed under Murra’s control through threats and lies. As the Justice Department detailed, she claimed she was the voice of God and made the women listen to recordings of her reading from the Bible while they worked.
“She caused both women to believe they would go to hell if they did not obey her,” the Justice Department explained in a press release. “Murra threatened at least one of the women that if she disobeyed her, she would contact immigration and the woman would be buried in a field with other illegal aliens. Murra also struck at least one of the women.”
In keeping with her focus on control, Murra treated the women poorly in her home — requiring that they ask permission to use the bathroom and prohibiting them from speaking to others in the house. She would punish the women by forcing them to sleep in the garage, laundry room, or backyard. Under ordinary circumstances they generally were made to sleep on the bedroom food and their meals were limited to bread and water.