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Ex-judge admits role in nanny abuse case

Garrett helped son recruit illegal immigrant

POSTED: April 26, 2009 10:58 p.m.

CUMMING — The father of a former Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy has admitted his involvement in a case of reported nanny abuse.

Former Fulton County Magistrate Judge D. William Garrett Jr. pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to aiding and abetting in recruiting an illegal immigrant for unlawful employment in the United States.

Patrick Crosby, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said the offense is a misdemeanor. U.S. District Judge Orinda Evans did not set a sentencing date.

Garrett could face a maximum sentence of six months in federal prison.

His son, Russell Garrett, and daughter-in-law, Malika Garrett, both of Woodstock, pleaded guilty in January to one count each of harboring an alien for private financial gain.

In addition, Malika Garrett pleaded guilty to a charge of making a false statement to the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Russell Garrett faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and Malika Garrett faces a possible 15 years.

Crosby said they have not yet been sentenced.

Russell Garrett was fired from the sheriff’s office July 24 after a federal grand jury issued a nine-count indictment against the couple and his father on charges of human trafficking, alien harboring, witness tampering and making false statements.

The indictment alleged that D. William Garrett and his son made false statements to the Department of State to get a visa for the woman and attached documents indicating they were in law enforcement.

In addition, Malika Garrett made false statements to the Department of Homeland Security to get an extension of the woman’s visa.

She later contacted the Department of Justice, claiming the woman should be investigated for possible terrorism.

Russell Garrett worked in the sheriff’s office courthouse services division. Sheriff Ted Paxton has said his former employee was “not representative of the people in the sheriff’s office nor in law enforcement as a career.”

Malika Garrett’s Web site says she is a native of India and attended Wesleyan College in Macon. The site also features her photography and paintings, as well as pictures of the Garretts and their children.

According to a report from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, between February 2003 and June 2005, Russell and Malika Garrett harbored a woman from India who entered the United States under false pretenses.

The report said they hid her for their own financial gain and that the couple admitted making the woman work as a nanny, initially being underpaid and then unpaid.

It goes on to say that the Garretts told the woman “if she left their home, she would be deported and jailed for an extended period of time — a condition that the defendants understood would cause great shame to the victim, a Muslim woman.”

She reportedly escaped with the help of a neighbor.



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