ASHLAND, Ohio --Becky Callahan claims the accusations that her son helped keep a woman in his house against her will, threatening her and forcing her into slavery-like conditions are all lies.
Jordie Callahan, 26, was arrested on Tuesday along with Jessica Hunt, 31, and Daniel Brown III, 33, by federal authorities
A fourth suspect, Dezerah Silsby, 21, turned herself in to authorities Wednesday on the charge of forced labor. She is scheduled to appear in court Thursday at 2 p.m.
The F.B.I. along with Ashland police and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio claims the victim and her five-year-old child were padlocked in a room they were forced to share with reptiles. They were threatened harm by pit bulls and snakes if they did not work around the house and worse.
"Suffice to say, these victims were repeatedly exposed to sub-human living conditions such as frequently being denied meals, access to bathroom visits; they were physically punished for toiletry accidents; they were threatened not only with weapons but also with vicious animals to include pit bulls and pythons," said FBI Special Agent Eric Smith on Tuesday.
Investigators believe the victim's government assistance checks were stolen by the suspects.
On one occasion, they smashed her hand with a rock so they could take her pain medication for themselves.
Becky Callahan insists the accusations were made up by the alleged victim after she was charged with abusing her own child and sentenced to 150 days in jail.
The government believes the abuse was ordered by Jordie Callahan, who threatened the alleged victim by saying if she didn't hit her own child, he would hit her harder.
The accusation, according to federal documents, is that Callahan wanted to record a video of the abuse so if authorities found out what was happening at the house, he could show them the video.
But his mother claims he would never have told her to do that.
"Jordie wouldn't even discipline his own kid," said Becky Callahan.
The suspect's brother tells Fox 8 News that he was at the house "all the time" and he never once saw a bruise on the five-year-old.
Callahan said her son gave the alleged victim a place to stay when she needed it, and that during the time in question, the woman actually stayed with at least two other families in Ashland.
She said each time, the woman chose to return to her son's house.
She also claims that during the time in question, the alleged victim had the freedom to come and go, attending Christmas, Thanksgiving and birthday parties and visiting with family.
She also claims the alleged victim was actually visited routinely by a female police officer conducting welfare checks.
Becky Callahan expects that people are more likely to believe what the government says, but she insists investigators have not been told the truth.
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