An Ohio man convicted along with his girlfriend of enslaving a mentally disabled woman for two years through intimidation, threats and abuse was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in federal prison. The man, Jordie Callahan, 28, and his girlfriend were convicted in March of forced labor, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and conspiracy to illegally obtain prescription drugs. The woman was forced to live for a time in a dark, damp basement without a bathroom, prosecutors said. Later, the woman lived in a bedroom that was padlocked from the outside.
The couple held the woman from early 2011 to late 2012 in their home in Ashland, about 70 miles southwest of Cleveland, prosecutors said. She escaped the home by getting arrested for shoplifting a candy bar and telling police she wanted to go to jail because people had been mean to her. Attorneys for Callahan and Hunt argued at trial that authorities had sensationalized the woman's living conditions and said she was always free to come and go. In an argument for a new trial, the attorneys said the woman frequently visited a convenience store, attended appointments with social service agencies and even had home visits with social workers at Callahan and Hunt's home in Ashland.
Department of Justice via AP
This undated photo released by the Department of Justice shows Jordie L. Callahan. Authorities in Ohio have arrested three people, including Callahan, on charges of enslaving a mentally disabled young mother and her daughter over a two-year period. Federal agents and Ashland police said Tuesday, June 18, 2013, the trio forced the woman to do housework, threatened her and the girl with violence and fed their pets better than the victims.(AP Photo/HO, Department of Justice)
- The Associated Press
First published July 22 2014, 3:13 PM