One suspect in Ashland enslavement case pleads not guilty

CLEVELAND - One of four suspects in the Ashland forced-labor case has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging a woman was held captive with her child and was threatened and made to do housework.

A federal magistrate in Cleveland released 21-year-old suspect Dezerah Silsby after a brief court appearance Thursday afternoon and ordered her to stay in contact with the probation office while awaiting trial.

Silsby entered a not guilty plea. Defense attorney Jennifer Scott says Silsby isn't capable of the crimes detailed in the allegations.

An FBI affidavit says Silsby admitted she helped retrieve the woman and her child from their relative's house and had slammed the woman's hand in a door and smashed it with a rock.

The other suspects are expected to have bond hearings Monday.

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