HONOLULU (TCD) -- A couple faces human trafficking charges after allegedly flying a 15-year-old girl and her mother to Hawaii and forcing the two to work for them.
According to the arrest warrant from the Honolulu First District Court, 24-year-old Pomerrine Robert and 41-year-old Kevin Robert flew the victims in from Guam on Aug. 23, 2021. Police told KITV-TV the victims stayed with the Roberts in the 2200 block of Ahe Street. The Roberts reportedly confiscated the victims’ passports immediately after picking them up from the airport. According to the warrant, the juvenile overheard Pomerinne say she would return the passports if she and her mother gave her money.
According to the arrest warrant, the 15-year-old juvenile was forced to do housework such as laundry, sweeping, and mopping. She was reportedly enrolled at Kaimuki High School and wasn’t allowed to leave the house unless it was for school. If the juvenile did not obey the Roberts’ orders, Pomerrine threatened the juvenile with physical abuse, the warrant states.
The juvenile’s mother was reportedly working as a dishwasher at the same local deli where Pomerrine worked. The arrest warrant says Pomerrine took the mother’s entire restaurant paycheck and used it to pay for things such as rent, cigarettes, betel nut, bingo, and "ice," which is another name for meth.
According to the warrant, on Feb. 22, 2022, the 15-year-old girl went to visit a friend from school and Pomerrine eventually found her, grabbed her by the hair, and dragged her back to the Roberts’ home. Pomerrine then allegedly created an "ice pipe" and ordered the 15-year-old to smoke it. When she said no, the warrant states Kevin held her down and Pomerrine punched her with a closed fist.
After the incident, the warrant states that Pomerrine kept the bruised 15-year-old locked in a room for five days straight with just water, chips, and a plastic bucket to use as a toilet.
According to the warrant, the mother was afraid to intervene because she, too, would be physically abused by the Roberts. The mother was also reportedly abused when there was no money.
The juvenile eventually told a school counselor about what was going on, KHNL-TV reports, and police got involved last week.
The Roberts were reportedly charged with felony labor trafficking and face up to 20 years in prison. According to KHNL, they remain held on $250,000 bail. Both are scheduled to appear in court March 17, KITV reports.