Couple Convicted in ‘Modern-Day’ Slavery Case
YOUNGSTOWN, OH — An Ashland couple was convicted Friday of engaging in a labor trafficking conspiracy and other crimes related to holding a woman with cognitive disabilities and her child against their will.
Jordie Callahan, 27, and Jessica Hunt, 32, were found guilty on one count each of conspiracy to violate laws, forced labor and acquiring a controlled substance by deception, following a three-week trial.
They will be sentenced in July.
Dezerah McGuire, 32, and Daniel Brown, 34, previously pleaded guilty to crimes related to the conspiracy. They will be sentenced later this month.
Prosecutors say Callahan and Hunt used violence, threats, sexual assaults, humiliation, deprivation and monitoring to establish and continue a pattern of domination and control over the victim and her daughter.
Their tactics included taunting and threatening the victims with pit bulls and snakes, forcing the victims to sleep in unsanitary conditions and restricting their access to the bathroom, according to prosecutors.