Ohio man sentenced to 30 years for enslaving woman, child

CLEVELAND Ohio Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:31pm EDT

CLEVELAND Ohio (Reuters) - An Ohio man convicted of enslaving a mentally disabled woman and her young daughter for nearly two years was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison Tuesday, according to a federal prosecutor's office.

Jordie Callahan, 27, was convicted in March of conspiracy, forced labor and acquiring a controlled substance by deception. Prosecutors had recommended Callahan and Jessica Hunt, his co-defendant girlfriend also convicted in March, spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Callahan threatened to kill the woman only identified in court as “S.E.” if she did not engage in sex acts with him and he used threats to the victim’s daughter to maintain control over her, according to court documents filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio. Prosecutors said that Callahan, “committed unspeakable acts of cruelty, abuse, and humiliation.”

Law enforcement officials have not released the identity of the woman and her daughter. The two were held in an apartment building in Ashland, Ohio, from January 2011 until October 2012.

  Witnesses during the two-week trial said the victims were beaten, threatened with pit bulls and a 130-lb (60-kg) Burmese python, fed dog food and made to crawl on the floor while wearing a dog collar.

Callahan used “weapons to intimidate, threaten, and manipulate” the victim and intentionally injured her so "medical professionals would prescribe her with narcotic pain medication,” that he used to satisfy his personal drug cravings, according to court documents.

  Hunt, 32, is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday.

Daniel J. Brown, 35, and Dezerah Silsby, 33, pleaded guilty to related crimes. Brown was sentenced to five years in prison in May and Silsby to four years in April.

“Hopefully this well-deserved lengthy sentence will provide a sense of justice that will assist the victims in their ongoing healing process,” Special FBI Agent Stephen Anthony said in a statement.

(Editing by Carey Gillam and Eric Walsh)

FILED UNDER: