Steven Johnson, 24, and his mother, Owida, 54, appeared in court Monday, where both pleaded not guilty, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. Johnson is charged with aggravated sexual abuse as well as drug and weapons offenses. His mother is charged with misdemeanor child endangerment.
Johnson was being held in lieu of $2 million bail. His mother was released Monday after her bail was cut to $10,000.
A 19-year-old woman told police Johnson held her in the house in Washington Park from 2010 until she ran away last week. She said she was raped over and over and gave birth to a son, now 2.
Courtney Johnson, a relative, called the alleged victim a liar who went to police after Steven broke up with her and told her to leave. He said the woman often came to his restaurant to help him and that she was in the house when police raided it for drugs several months ago.
"If she was being held against her will, why didn't she run instead of coming to the restaurant?" Courtney asked.
He said he lived with the family for five years and called Owida Johnson "Ma."
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