Mother-in-law faces prison in January for assaulting daughter-in-law

Parveen Jagota’s resentencing for assaulting her daughter-in-law and treating her as a slave was rescheduled Tuesday for Jan. 29 by Rockland County Court Judge William K. Nelson.

Nelson already has sentenced Jagota’s daughter Rajani, 31, to prison for 1 to 3 years on the same charges of assaultĀ  and labor trafficking.

Parveen’s Jagota had been sentenced to the same prison term as her daughter but Nelson decided to reconsider after her lawyer, Daniel Bertolino, raised questions about the assault portion of the sentence.

The sentencing has been delayed for a variety of reasons. Tuesday’s sentencing was adjourned because the interpreter had traveled to India.

Nelson asked about the status of Rajani Jagota on Tuesday. Prosecutor Arthur Ferraro told still has time left to serve on her sentence and would still be in prison when her mother was sentenced in January.

Following a non-jury trial, Nelson found that the mother once burned the young woman with an iron as punishment for poor work.

The victim came to the United States in 2008 following her marriage to Vishal Jagota, which was arranged by her relatives in the United States and India. Her identity has been withheld by the Journal News/ based on her father-in-law being accused of sexually abusing her. He was found not guilty of the charges.

The victim’s husband was sentenced in May to three years’ probation and 220 hours of community service for third-degree assault, a misdemeanor carrying a maximum sentence of a year in jail.

“She was selected as a servant, not as a bride,” Nelson told the defendants in June. “It was his mission to find a young Indian woman from India, not one raised in the United States, … For three years, (the victim) lived a life of involuntary servitude, waiting hand and foot for you and your family.”




Steve Lieberman

Steve Lieberman joined The Journal News as an editor in February 1984 and became a reporter during the spring of 1986. He has covered police, courts and legal issues for more than a decade, after reporting on county, town, village and state governments and general issues. He received more than a dozen state awards for writing and reporting. Born and raised in The Bronx, he has lived in Rockland since 1988.