A former U.S. diplomat has for the second time been found liable for enslaving and sexually trafficking a housekeeper while posted at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen.

A jury in federal court in Alexandria, Va., agreed Monday that the former envoy, Linda Howard, and her Australian husband, Russell Howard, forced an Ethio­pian maid into sexual slavery in 2007, repeatedly raping her. Linda Howard was ordered to pay $3 million in damages to the now 30-year-old woman, identified only as Sarah Roe, who lives in Virginia.

Five years ago the couple were found liable in the same court for trafficking another Ethio­pian housekeeper in 2008. They were ordered to pay her $3.3 million. However, the couple had already fled from Arlington, Va., to Australia and contested the judgment there. The case was settled in 2015.

Linda Howard left the State Department in 2013; her husband died in 2012. She denied the new allegations and argued that Roe could not sue for civil damages under a human trafficking law that did not pass until 2008.


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