A woman who was trafficked and forced to work for no pay by the United Nation of Islam was awarded an over $8 million settlement Wednesday.
Kendra Ross alleged that from the time she was 11 years old, when her mother joined the United Nation of Islam in 2002, to the time she escaped in 2012, the cult forced her to work without pay while moving her around to numerous cities, according to The Associated Press. U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree awarded Ross the multi-million dollar settlement on the grounds that Royall Jenkins, the leader of The Value Creators that was then called United Nation of Islam, abused, threatened, and exploited Ross. (Related: DC Democrat Who Blamed Jews For Bad Weather Donated To Nation Of Islam Event)
Jenkins took advantage of Ross “knowing that she was unfamiliar with the world outside the cult, had received no standard education, was constantly moved from place to place, and had no money,” Crabtree said. Crabtree also said that the lifestyle and diet to which Jenkins and his crew subjected Ross left her “severely malnourished” and that they made Jenkins “believe that if she did not continue to work for them, she would suffer serious harm.”
Betsy Hutson, Ross’ attorney, said the ruling “thrilled” Ross, who suffered “an immense amount of psychological damage” at the hands of her captors. Hutson called the ruling a “powerful tool for the anti-trafficking movement.”
“This has been a really long process,” Hutson said, according to the AP. “It is a result of a lot of years of hard work. We see that she has made incredible progress, coming out of this cult and facing her perpetrators.”
Collecting the settlement from the cult will be a challenge, Hutson said but that the cult likely has “significant properties.”
Jenkins, once a member of the Nation of Islam, started the United Nation of Islam in 1978 after claiming that “angels and/or scientists” abducted him, showed him the galaxy, and taught him how to rule the earth. He changed the name of the cult to The Value Creators after Ross escaped in 2012.
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