United States v. Olga Murra

Case: 17-10117 Document: 00514306228 Page: 1 Date Filed: 01/12/2018 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT United States Court of Appeals No. 17-10117 Fifth Circuit FILED January 12, 2018 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Lyle W. Cayce Clerk Plaintiff-Appellee, v. OLGA SANDRA MURRA, also known as Sandra Olga Capon-Meneses, Defendant-Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Before DENNIS, CLEMENT, and GRAVES, Circuit Judges. JAMES E. GRAVES, JR., Circuit Judge: In August 2016, Defendant-Appellant Olga Murra was convicted by a jury of two counts of forced labor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1589(a), and two counts of harboring an illegal alien for profit, in violation of 8 U.S.C. §§ 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) and 1324(a)(1)(B)(i), based on conduct toward her half-sister Vania Rodriguez and quasi–adopted family member Ingrid Guerrero. The district court sentenced her to seventy-two months’ imprisonment. Murra now appeals from that conviction and sentence, claiming that (1) the district court erred by admitting the testimony of the Government’s expert witness; (2) the Government prosecutor improperly commented on her decision not to testify; (3) the district court erred in ruling that Mosaic Family Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provided both counseling and legal services to the victims, did not have to produce documents Case: 17-10117 Document: 00514306228 Page: 2 Date Filed: 01/12/2018 No. 17-10117 that Mosaic contends are protected by psychotherapist-patient or attorney-client privilege; and (4) the district court erred by imposing a “vulnerable victim” enhancement to her sentence. For the reasons that follow, we affirm. I According to the evidence and testimony presented at trial, Murra used psychological manipulation, mental and physical abuse, and threats of abuse to coerce both Vania and Ingrid to work for her without pay for over a decade. A Around 1985, while living in Mexico, Murra and her family (her children and now-deceased husband) met Ingrid Guerrero and her three sisters—Tania, Yuriria, and Jehan—who were living apart from their mother and father be- cause of a tumultuous home life. A few years into their relationship with Murra, the Guerreros began attending church at Murra’s home, with Murra “preaching” and leading the services. Murra later told the sisters that they should move out of their house and live with her, which they did. Shortly thereafter, Murra began to inflict physical and psychological abuse on the Guerreros. Murra would hit them with a wooden paddle almost daily as punishment for being “obscene” or “rebellious,” or if they didn’t agree with some- thing she said. She made Ingrid sit in baths of ice water because she wasn’t “pure.” She forced the sisters to sleep in the laundry room, at times for up to a week, because she felt they needed to repent for their “sins.” She would slap the sisters, cut their hair, and tell them “nobody will love you.” Murra told the sisters that “she was a prophet from God.” Based on this, they believed that whatever Murra said came directly from God. They were or- dered ...

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