Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Migrant Woman Loses Lawsuit Against Her Alleged Rapist & Sbarro

On Friday, a migrant woman accused her manager at Sbarro of raping her several times in 2016 and lost a federal lawsuit against him and Sbarro. The company alleged that she made the accusations to gain legal immigration status, causing her lawyers to push for a mistrial.

Sandra Perez said that Zachary Ceballes raped her weekly at her job at the Sbarro located inside the Monte Carlo resort in Las Vegas. She accused him of threatening to deport her and her family members working there, including her daughter and sister if she did not do what he asked.

Ceballes admitted to having sex in the workplace with Perez but claimed the relationship was consensual. He also denied threatening her with deportation.

“When you are illegal, you have no choice,” Perez lamented.

Perez sued Ceballes for assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She also sued Sbarro for sexual harassment, retaliation, and negligent retention. Perez sought a combined $178 million.

On Friday, the jury sided with Sbarro and Ceballes on all counts. David Karam, CEO of Sbarro, said in a statement the company was “extremely pleased” that the jury found the company not guilty on all charges.

Perez’s lawyers submitted a motion for a mistrial, arguing that Perez did not need to accuse Ceballes of assaulting her to gain documented status because she eventually got her documents in the United States through marriage and not through a “U visa” or a “T visa,” which are reserved for victims of serious crimes and trafficking.

Greg Chen, Senior Director of Government with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said the accusations by Perez were some of the worst he has ever seen. However, he said many migrants are afraid to come forward when undocumented, as Perez was in 2016, when the attacks are said to have happened.

“Predators target vulnerable women, immigrants, knowing that they don’t speak English well, often knowing that they are undocumented,” Chen concluded.

NBC News