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Another Woman Held Captive in Ohio

On Tuesday, authorities arrested three people accused of forcing labor upon a disabled mother.
 
 
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On Tuesday, the FBI arrested three Ashland, Ohio residents accused of holding a cognitively disabled mother and her six-year-old daughter captive for two, torturous years.  Jordie L. Callahan, Jessica L. Hunt and Daniel “DJ” Brown are accused of holding a mother identified only as S.E., and her daughter, captive in a bedroom with iguanas and pitbulls.  Police discovered the abuse when S.E. was arrested for shoplifting and asked to be jailed because three people “had been mean to her,” then explained to authorities the shocking servitude she had endured.

 S.E. was reportedly their domestic servant, forced to do laundry, shopping, and care for the pets. The three allegedly took advantage of the disabled mother's government benefits, and are accused of denying food to S.E. and her young daughter, even forcing them to feed the animals instead. On three separate occasions, the accused caused physical harm to S.E., in hopes of procuring pain meds. They slammed her hand with a rock, injured her back, and kicked her in the hip -- all for some Vicodin.

According to a press release from the Northern District of Ohio’s US Attorneys’ office, the captors also forced S.E. to abuse her own child, filmed it, then threatened to use the video as evidence of abuse should she go to police:

In October 2011, Callahan and Hunt forced S.E. to hit her child, threatening to inflict much greater physical harm on both if S.E. did not do so. Callahan and Hunt used Callahan’s mobile phone to record S.E. purportedly abusing her child via the baby monitor.

About a year later, S.E. was arrested for shoplifting a candy bar. She asked to be taken to jail, said she was living with Callahan and Hunt and that they “were mean to her,” according to the affidavit.

A police officer went to Callahan and Hunt’s apartment. When the officer advised Callahan that S.E. would not return, Callahan told police he believed S.E. was abusing her child and showed them the mobile phone video from October 2011.

S.E. later told police that Callahan had showed her video recordings of her beating her child after being instructed to do so by Callahan and Hunt. Callahan told S.E. that if she “messed up” or told police about her living conditions, Callahan would show the videos to police and have her daughter taken away, according to the affidavit.

Callahan, Hunt, and Brown are charged with forced labor. Callahan is also charged with tampering with a witness. 

Read more about the charges  here

Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.  Follow her on Twitter: @KristenGwynne

 
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