Trial Date Set in Agriprocessors Child Labor Case

Shown is the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008, in Postville, Iowa. Agriprocessors is the world's largest kosher meatpacking plant and Postville's biggest employer. A May 12, 2008 raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at Agriprocessors, the world's largest kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, was the largest immigration raid in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)


By Becky Ogann

DES MOINES (AP) - The owner and managers of the nation's largest kosher meatpacking plant are scheduled to go to trial next April on more than 9,000 charges alleging child labor violations at the plant in Postville.

Prosecutors accuse the owner and managers at Agriprocessors Inc. of hiring minors and in some cases having children younger than 16 handle dangerous equipment.

Charged are the company itself, plant owner Abraham Aaron Rubashkin; former plant manager Sholom Rubashkin; human resources manager Elizabeth Billmeyer; and human resource employees Laura Althouse and Karina Freund.

Each defendant faces 9,311 individual counts - one for each day a particular violation is alleged for each worker.

The charges each carry a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a fine of $65 to $625.

Trial is scheduled for April 20.

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