ASHLAND, Ohio - Four people have been indicted after an Ashland woman and her daughter were held captive and forced to perform manual labor, the Department of Justice said on Tuesday.
Jordie L. Callahan, 26; Jessica L. Hunt, 31, and Dezerah L. Silsby, 21, face charges of conspiracy to violate the law, forced labor, theft of government benefits and acquiring a controlled substance by deception. Callahan and Hunt were also indicted for tampering with a witness.
"These charges paint a picture of the unspeakable cruelty these defendants inflicted upon this mother and her child," said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
According to the indictment, Callahan, Hunt and Silsby threatened the victim, who has cognitive disabilities, and her child with snakes and pit bulls, forced them to sleep in unsafe conditions and restricting their access to the bathroom. Their alos accused of forcing the woman to eat dog food and crawl on the floor in a dog collar.
The indictment also accused Callahan of holding a gun to the victim's head and threatening to kill her if she didn't do what he said.
The abuse took place from August 2010 to October 2012. Authorities said Callahan and Hunt coerced the victim to live in their two-bedroom apartment in Ashland because they knew she received public assistance.
A fourth suspect, 33-year-old Daniel K. Brown, was charged with conspiracy.