Early Life & Education
Bindu Pariyar was born in Hemja village of the Kaski district in Western Nepal into a poor dalit (untouchables) family. Her both parents were petty farmers and didn’t have the capacity to pay for a decent education of their children. After Bindu completed Grade 3 from a primary school, she was transferred to a boarding school and all of her educational expenses were borne by Tom Sewell, her aunt’s husband of that time who later became her trafficker and a legal husband for a few years.
When she moved to the United States in 2010, Bindu had completed Nepal’s School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exams from Dahulagiri Boarding School and higher secondary (10+2) schooling from Gyanubaba School.
Tom Sewell & Bindu Pariyar’s Trafficking to the USA
Bindu Pariyar was a victim of a long and meticulously planned trafficking plan devised by an American human trafficker named Tom Sewell.
Sewell visited Nepal in early 1990s as a tourist and married Bindu’s aunt. The couple lived together for 11 years and then got separated. Sewell then went on to marry Bindu’s cousin sister Sita Pariyar who was just 17 years old at the time of marriage. Sewell forced Sita to work as a stripper in several night clubs in Dallas, Texas, and threatened to kill her if she revealed the fact to her relatives back in Nepal.
Sewell once again visited Nepal and started enticing and entrapping Bindu saying that since his life was not going well with Sita, he wanted to marry her and he was in love with her. He promised to continue supporting her education in the USA as she wanted to continue her education and wished to become a nurse.
After Sewell’s several attempts and continuous insistence, Bindu gave in. Bindu was issued a K1 fiancé visa by the US embassy in Kathmandu and the couple flew to the United States in October 2010.
Once in the US, Bindu Pariyar was first taken to Idaho and Sewell started showing his true face within a few weeks. He persuaded her to get married so that she could stay in the USA as a US citizen and earn for him.
Though accounts differ, Bindu’s version of the story as revealed in an interview to The Gundruk Post indicate that she was forced to work in several night clubs as a stripper, up to 7 days a week. Reportedly, she was required to pay as much as US$1000/night out of her earnings to Tom Sewell. Otherwise, he would severely beat her, force her to drink his urine or even poop on her face.
Her trafficker-husband, Tom Sewell, seized all of her documents including her passport and visa and took several nude photos of her so that they could be used as blackmailing material if she insisted to leave. He forced her to drink excessive alcohol and have sex with several guys at a time. He enjoyed looking at that and took several videos.
Though forced to dance as a stripper and have sex with third persons, she has said several times that she was not selling sex and didn’t work as a prostitute.
Bindu made more than US$500 each night, but was paid less than 10% of what she made monthly. She managed to save even that little sum and bought a house for her parents back in Nepal.
In a statement sent to a Nepali media outlet, she has revealed that she tried to commit suicide several times and was admitted and treated in a hospital for possible psychiatric problems.
Rescue and New Life
In an effort to escape from the harsh reality she had been forced to face, Bindu Pariyar, came to know a shelter home for victims of human trafficking and domestic violence in Dallas, Texas and has been rescued. As of 2015, Bindu has revealed that she is in a serious relationship with another man, attending college to become a nurse and trying to recover from the trauma that she went through.
In an statement sent to X-Nepali website, she wrote:
“Tom Sewell was not my husband, but I considered him a father. He will remain so until he is alive. Whatever sex videos you see of me on the Internet, it was because he forced me to do so. Working as a stripper was not my choice, but a forced compulsion which I do not need to say again and again.
Whatever I have earned in the US, I have spent that on my family, i.e. my parents and my brothers. This all happened because of Tom. There seems to be a confusion because of Sita and me. We are both sisters and we have the same story.
We both are now very far-away from Tom Sewell and we are very happy. We know that the (Nepali) society is not going to accept us, but we do not care about a society that dwells only on negativity.”
Bindu has often been critical of what has been said about her in the media and she has rejected the claims by some online commenters that she worked as a prostitute back in Nepal.
In December 2016, many international media outlets reported that a US federal judge had ruled in favour of Bindu’s case and had ordered Sowell to provide $7.25million in compensation. Though the court ordered, Bindu claimed that she was never going to see the money in reality.
Meanwhile, Sewell countersued her, claiming Pariyar was a ‘manipulative and conniving prostitute and stripper who used Sewell in an attempt to gain U.S. citizenship.’
As of February 2016, Pariyar’s Facebook page says she works as an administrative assistant and waitress and is engaged to her boyfriend.
‘I just want to live a normal life,’ she told in a media interview. ‘I don’t want to be judged.’ She says she doesn’t ever expect to see the millions she’s been awarded in court, but felt it was important to fight back against Sewell, to show other victims of sexual abuse that they could fight back too. ‘I want to show that I’m brave,’ she said in an interview.