YOUNGSTOWN -- An Ashland man was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in a holding woman with cognitive disabilities and her child against their will and forcing the woman to perform manual labor, law enforcement officials said today.
"The conduct laid out in this case is almost incomprehensible," said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
"We will continue to prosecute human trafficking cases in all their various forms."
"The manner in which this young lady and her small child were treated during two years of involuntary servitude is beyond disturbing," said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cleveland office.
"The FBI hopes that the victims in this investigation can continue to heal and lead their own lives now that Daniel Brown and the others have been brought to justice."
Daniel J. Brown, 34, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy. He admitted that he conspired with Jordie L. Callahan, Jessica L. Hunt and Dezerah L. Silsby from 2010 through 2012 to establish and continue a pattern of domination and control over their victims, identified only as S.E. and B.E.
Together, they used a combination of violence, threats, sexual assaults, humiliation, deprivation and monitoring to establish and continue a pattern of domination and control over S.E. and B.E., according to court documents.
Their tactics included beating S.E., threats of beatings to S.E. and B.E., taunting and threatening the victims with pit bulls and snakes, causing the victims to sleep in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, restricting B.E. and S.E.'s access to the bathroom, preventing them from eating regular and suitable meals and forcing S.E. to eat dog food and crawl on the floor while wearing a dog collar, according to trial testimony and court documents.
All four people have been found guilty of crimes related to the case.
Silsby is scheduled to be sentenced later this month while Callahan and Hunt are scheduled to be sentenced in July.
The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chelsea Rice and Thomas E. Getz following an investigation by the FBI and Ashland Police Department, with assistance from the Ashland County Prosecutor's Office.