Man pleads guilty to helping Reddy

The Associated Press
Thursday May 03, 2001

OAKLAND — A man charged with smuggling two teenage girls from India into the country for a wealthy Berkeley landlord by posing as their father pleaded guilty as part of a deal with federal prosecutors, according to court documents. 

Venkateswara Vemireddy has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to bring illegal immigrants into the United States, which carries a maximum five years in prison with $250,000 in fines. In return, the prosecutors have agreed not to seek additional charges. 

Vemireddy was indicted in March 2000, two months after East Bay landlord Lakireddy Bali Reddy, 63, was arrested on charges of illegally bringing in teen-age girls from India for sex and cheap labor. 

Most of the files in the Vemireddy case were closed to the public.  

However, at the request of the San Francisco Chronicle, U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong last Wednesday agreed to unseal some of the documents. 

The case broke when two sisters suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and were found unconscious in a Reddy-owned downtown Berkeley apartment on Nov. 24, 1999. Chanti Prattipati, 17, died, but her younger sister lived.  

The surviving sister and their third roommate told police that Reddy had smuggled them in from India and that he regularly had sex with them.