Trio deny guilt in slave labour case

Last updated 07:37 25/07/2013

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Three people accused of enslaving a mentally disabled Ohio woman and her daughter and beating the woman and stealing her pain medication have pleaded not guilty.

The defendants are charged with targeting and recruiting the woman in 2010 and holding her until October in a house in Ashland, 120 kilometres northeast of Columbus.

Jodie Callahan, Jessica Hunt and Dezerah Silsby entered the pleas today in the US federal court in Cleveland. The attorney for a fourth defendant, Daniel Brown, has said his client plans to plead guilty later.

An indictment against Callahan, Hunt and Silsby alleges the woman was denied food, sexually assaulted and threatened with dogs and snakes.

Callahan's mother, Becky Callahan, has said the allegations are "all lies."

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- AP

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