Jordie Callahan and his girlfriend imprisoned a mentally disabled woman and her daughter in a dimly lit, dank basement for two years. This week, the 28-year-old Ohio man was sentenced to spend the next three decades behind bars for his disgusting act of enslaving the woman, whom he treated as a sex slave.
Reuters news service, via MSN on July 23, reported that Callahan “and his girlfriend were convicted in March of forced labor, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and conspiracy to illegally obtain prescription drugs. The couple were accused of forcing the woman to shop, cook and clean up after their pit bulls and of using the dogs and a python to threaten the woman. They also threatened to harm her young daughter if the woman didn't obey.”
The woman, Shannon Eckley, and her child were forced to take up residence in the basement of Callahan’s home in Ashland, Ohio. When they weren’t in the basement, the pair were kept in a bedroom that was padlocked from the outside. They were not allowed to use the toilet. According to prosecutors, Callahan forced Eckley to cook, clean and perform sex acts, and threatened Eckley with harming her and her child if she didn’t do as she was told.
Callahan allegedly used pit bulls, a venomous coral snake and a 130-pound python snake to coerce the woman to obey.
Writes the Daily Mail:
To keep them in line, Callahan threatened to unleash their terrifying menagerie of pets on them – including a poisonous coral snake, a Burmese python that weighed 130 pounds, lizards, spiders, scorpions and numerous dogs – including pit bulls, authorities say.
Callahan took advantage of the fact that Eckley had suffered a traumatic brain injury and had been collecting public assistance. Somehow, he convinced her to stay with him and his girlfriend in 2011, but Callahan refused to allow them to leave – holding them captive until late 2012.
The abused woman was eventually freed when she was caught shoplifting a candy bar. When police confronted her, she said she did it because she wanted to go to jail since the man she lived with “was mean” to her.
Court records show that Callahan and his girlfriend, 33-year-old Jessica Hunt, physically abused Eckley and made her physically abuse her own daughter, in front of them, so that the mother and daughter would require pain medication, which they then took from Eckley for their own addictions.
“Mr. Callahan, through his cruelty, sought to deprive the victims in this case of their dignity and freedom,” said northern Ohio U.S. attorney Steven Dettelbach. “He failed in the former and the victim’s strength ended up trumping his.”
Jessica Hunt is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.