Man accused of enslaving woman to be sentenced

Associated Press
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FILE - This undated file photo released by the Ashland County Sheriff's Office shows Jordie L. Callahan. A jury there found Callahan guilty of forced labor, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and a drug charge in March. His sentencing is Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Ashland County Sheriffs Office, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — A man convicted of enslaving a mentally disabled woman in northeast Ohio could receive life in prison when he's sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Youngstown.

The man, Jordie Callahan, was found guilty in March of forced labor, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and a drug charge. While federal guidelines call for a sentence of 30 years to life, the judge can give him a lesser prison term.

Prosecutors are seeking life sentences for Callahan, 27, and his girlfriend, 31-year-old Jessica Hunt. The couple was accused of forcing the woman to do chores, cook and shop for them by threatening to harm her daughter. Hunt was found guilty of the same charges and is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.

At one point, the couple made the woman and her child sleep in a damp, dark basement with no mattress or access to a bathroom, prosecutors said.

They said Callahan and Hunt also repeatedly injured the woman so she would have to seek treatment and then take any painkillers doctors prescribed for her. They also allowed their four sons to physically abuse the woman and her daughter, prosecutors said.

Callahan's and Hunt's attorneys continue to fight for a new trial. They have questioned the credibility of the government's witnesses, including the woman, and have argued that she left the house nearly every day, including trips to a convenience store and to social service agencies.

The attorneys said social workers visited the woman and her child at the defendant's home during the time she was allegedly enslaved.