Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Three Suspects Charged With Forced Labor Of Cognitive Disable Woman And Child

Jordie L. Callahan, Jessica L. Hunt and Daniel J. Brown

Photos: USDOJ

Woman and child held captive for two years by the suspects.

By H. Nelson Goodson
June 19, 2013

Ashland, Ohio - On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office of Northern District of Ohio in a news release announced that three Ashland residents were taken into custody and charged for human trafficking that included forced labor and stealing disability benefits from a cognitively disable woman and her child. The woman and child were held captive for two years.
The suspects were identified as Jordie L. Callahan, 26; Jessica L. Hunt, 31; and Daniel J. Brown, aka D.J. Brown, 33, they were all charged with forced labor. Callahan is charged with an additional count of tampering with a witness.
The three suspects are accused of participating in a conspiracy between May 2011 and October 2012 in which they held a woman and her juvenile child in a condition of forced labor and involuntary servitude.
The conspiracy included beating the disabled woman and her child, threatening the woman with a firearm, threatening to kill the woman and her child, threatening the woman and her child with large snakes, forcing them to sleep in a padlocked room with a large iguana, and other actions, according to charges filed in U.S. District Court.
The case was referred to the FBI by police investigators after  the woman was caught stealing candy from a store. The told police that she didn't want to return to where she was living at because the people there treated her bad. When police investigated, they found that the suspects were holding the woman and her child against their will.
The woman was beaten and both the woman and her child were only allowed to eat canned foods or leftovers after everyone else, including the suspects children had eaten. The woman's disability benefits were used by Callahan and no money was ever given to the woman. Her child was not allowed to go with her to the store for fear she would escape.
An affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Michael Sirohman states, that "Callahan and Hunt forced the woman to clean the house, do laundry, walk to the store to do their shopping, and care for their numerous pit bulls and reptiles. The woman was timed when she went to the store and was not allowed to bring her child with her. Callahan and Hunt beat the woman and her child, threatened their lives, denied them food, and threatened them with the pit bulls and reptiles.
"At various points, Callahan threatened the woman with a gun. The woman and her child initially were forced to sleep on a cement floor in the basement with no mattress. Later, they were moved to a room upstairs, again with no bed or mattress. The child was kept in the room all day, and at night the room was padlocked to keep the woman and her child from escaping...Callahan and Hunt also repeatedly taunted and threatened woman and chld with injury from the couple's snakes, including a poisonous coral snake, a ball phython, and a Burmese python that weighed 130 pounds.
"In August 2011, the conspirators slammed woman's hand with a rock in order to obtain pain medication. She was taken to the emergency room and returned with a prescription for pain medication.
"In December 2011, Callahan and Hunt injured the woman's back and then forced her to turn over the prescription for Vicodin she received for her back injury.
On another occasion, Callahan kicked the woman in the hip, and then he and Hunt forced her to turn over the prescription for Vicodin she received for her hip injury.
"About a year later, the woman was arrested for shoplifting a candy bar. She asked to be taken to jail and said she was living with Callahan and Hunt and that they "were mean to her." 
"A police officer went to Callahan and Hunt's apartment. When the officer advised Callahan that the woman would not return, Callahan told police he believed the woman was abusing her child and showed them the mobile phone video from October 2011.
"The woman 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 the woman 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 an FBI affidavit.

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