Supreme Court judges have reduced the sentences of a couple, resident in Santa Maria da Feira (Aveiro), who bought a 12-year-old girl from Romania for €1000 and used her as a slave.
The girl, “forced to live maritally with the couple’s son” of the same age, was made to beg and steal from shops and do all the family’s household chores.
If she disobeyed her orders, she was beaten.
At the age of 14, the girl gave birth in hospital on false papers and her captors gave the baby up for adoption against the young mother’s wishes.
Marius Rostas and his wife Lucia Ciurar were both initially handed jail terms of seven years nine months and seven years respectively. They appealed to see the Porto court of appeal actually increase their sentences to nine years.
They appealed again, and now Supreme Court judges have brought the jail terms back down to almost where they were when the couple started appealing: eight years each.
The couple’s son meantime is described as “a fugitive”.
GNR police moved in on this Dickensian ménage after they detained the ‘slave girl’ for shoplifting. The young woman’s story came tumbling out, and her captors were arrested.
Very little has been reported on where the girl is now, how her life has improved, or whether or not she was ever reunited with her baby.
Early reports suggested that the couple had younger children that the slave girl was charged with looking after. Again, today’s reports do not give any details as to what happened to them, either.