News in Brief: Judge Postpones Imprisoned Landlord's Hearing

Nate Tabak covers crime. E-mail him at [email protected].

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OAKLAND-A judge indefinitely postponed a hearing yesterday that would have considered reducing a Berkeley landlord's eight-year sentence for importing girls for cheap labor and sex.

U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken was expected to rule on whether nearly two years should be cut off Lakireddy Bali Reddy's prison term.

Staff/Krista Osmundson
Helen Wheeler protests at a

hearing for a Berkeley landlord imprisoned for importing girls for labor and sex.

Reddy's lawyers sought the reduction, citing a court interpreter's manipulation of witness testimony.

Wilken offered no reason for the cancellation, nor did she set a new date for the hearing.

The decision to cancel the hearing drew fire from anti-Reddy activists, who picketed the courthouse.

One of the demonstrators, Mills College professor emeritus Diana Russell, said she fears Reddy's sentence will be decided behind closed doors.

"I am very angry," Russell said. "They are trying to do this in secret."

A $100 million class action lawsuit was filed against Reddy and his relatives last week for their roles in the sex and labor scheme.

Plaintiffs in the suit include young women who were exploited in the racket.

Members of Reddy's family, including two of his sons and his brother, have been convicted on lesser charges in the scheme.

Nate Tabak


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