Skip to content



Harvard couple to be arraigned Thursday on charge of harboring illegal alien


BOSTON – A Harvard couple is to be arraigned Thursday in federal court on charges they harbored an illegal alien at their 35 Lancaster County Road home.

The Sept. 19 indictment against Martha Smalanskas, 47, and Richard Smalanskas, 48, alleges that while in Bolivia they hired a 16-year-old nanny to cook, clean and take care of their children. After three years in Boliva, they brought the nanny to the United States under false documentation, making it appear as if the nanny was related to them.

Once in the U.S., it is alleged that the couple took her travel documents and required her to work long hours. She was promised, but not paid, a wage of up to $150 per month.

The charges also allege that the couple were aware that the visa for the nanny expired after approximately one month; they told the nanny not to discuss this with anyone and told her not to try to return home or get permanent resident status, because they knew that once her visa expired in January of 1998, she was here illegally.

If convicted, they each face up to 10 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Colonel Timothy Alben, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement on Sept. 19. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Kanwit and Suzanne Sullivan of Ortiz’s Civil Rights Enforcement Team.

The Smalanskas’ are scheduled to be arraigned at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4 at U.S. Federal District Court in Boston. The couple had three children enrolled in the Harvard schools over the 2011-2012 school year.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.