ASHLAND, Ohio – A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for holding and enslaving a mentally disabled woman and her child against their will.
According to Steven Dettelbach, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Jordie Callahan forced the woman to perform manual labor.
“Hopefully this well-deserved lengthy sentence will provide a sense of justice that will assist the victims in their ongoing healing process,” said Steven Anthony, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland office.
Callahan, 27, and his girlfiend, 31-year-old Jessica Hunt, were convicted in March on one count each of conspiracy to violate laws, forced labor and acquiring a controlled substance by deception.
They were accused of forcing the woman to do chores, cook and shop for them by threatening to harm her daughter.
19 Action News reports that the couple would use a “combination of violence, threats, sexual assaults, humiliation, deprivation and monitoring to establish and continue a pattern of domination and control over their victims”, who have been identified only as S.E. and B.E.
Prosecutors also said that the couple would periodically injure the woman so that she would have to seek treatment; the couple would then take any painkillers the doctors prescribed for her.
According to court documents and trial testimony, also included in the couple’s tactics were “taunting and threatening the victims with pit bulls and snakes, causing the victims to sleep in unsafe and unsanitary conditions…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.”
Callahan’s and Hunt’s attorneys have questioned the credibility of the government’s witnesses, which include the victimized woman.
Hunt is scheduled to be sentenced on July 24.