CLEVELAND — A mentally disabled woman and her young child were enslaved for more than a year, sometimes denied food, and threatened with a pet python and pit bulls, and the woman was beaten and forced to get pain medication for her captors, authorities said Tuesday in announcing federal charges against three suspects.
The three invited the woman and her child, whose names were withheld, to live with them, and, beginning in early 2011, forced the mother to do housework by threatening to hurt her and the girl, described as 5 or 6, federal authorities and Ashland police said.
The mother and child were freed in October after police investigated an abuse allegation one of the suspects made against her, authorities said, and they are doing well.
‘‘The victim in this case is slowly recovering,’’ US Attorney Steve Dettelbach said.
Jordie Callahan, 26, Jessica Hunt, 31, and Daniel J. ‘‘DJ’’ Brown, 33, all of Ashland, were charged with forced labor. They were being held, pending a federal court hearing. Callahan also was charged with tampering with a witness in the investigation.
No attorneys were listed for them in court records.
According to an FBI affidavit, the mother and child were denied food at times.