Carmen was forced into prostitution at 14 by human traffickers from Mexico’s notorious town of pimps. She appeared in Brooklyn Federal Court during her tormentors’ sentencing in 2014.
She described how she had been subjected to brutal beatings, sexual abuse, indignities, and wishing that she was dead.
Judge Pamela Chen, who prosecuted the human traffickers in federal court, presided over the wedding of Carmen to her husband Luis, praising her “indomitable will to thrive and be happy.”
“No one deserves to find happiness and love more than Carmen,” the judge said. “Carmen’s ability to transcend her prior experiences is breathtaking.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the judge’s chambers when Carmen looked into Luis’ eyes and, once again in a courthouse, spoke powerful words.
“God put you in my life just at the time when I believed I would never be able to love a man again,” Carmen said. “Thank you. Thank you.”
Carmen and Luis met through a mutual friend and it was a love match. He popped the question last Valentine’s Day. Carmen, 26, is a home health aide and Luis, 31, works in construction. A heart-shaped strawberry cake was made by another trafficking survivor who is starting her own bakery business.
The government’s surprise gift to Carmen was the early delivery of her green card.