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Ohio


Ashland couple guilty of enslaving mentally disabled woman and her daughter for 2 years
Jordie Callahan, 27, and girlfriend Jessica Hunt, 32, threatened and abused the woman from 2010 to 2012, stealing $18,000 in benefits
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
In The Region:
An Ashland couple has been convicted of enslaving a mentally disabled woman and her child for two years.

After a three-week trial, the federal jury in Youngstown convicted 27-year-old Jordie Callahan and his 32-year-old girlfriend, Jessica Hunt. They threatened and abused the woman from 2010 to 2012, forcing her and her 5-year-old daughter to live in a locked room.

Justice Department Spokesman Mike Tobin says the pair also stole $18,000 in government benefits from the woman.

Mike Tobin, U.S. Justice Department

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“At different times, they would physically hurt her. They would smash her hand with a rock. They would kick her in the hip. And this was done so she would go to the hospital and get prescription painkillers, which they then took for themselves.”


The jury began deliberating Thursday, and Callahan and Hunt could face prison sentences of up to 30 years when sentenced in July. Callahan is also accused of raping the woman, who has the mental capacity of a 13-year-old.

A defense attorney says two other defendants -- Dezerah Silsby and D.J. Brown – were the ringleaders. They earlier pleaded guilty and will be sentenced later this month. The pair testified against Callahan and Hunt.
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