U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven M. Dettelbach said in a news release Tuesday Jordie L. Callahan, 26; Jessica L. Hunt, 31, and Daniel J. Brown, AKA D.J. Brown, 33, are accused of beating the woman and her child and threatening to kill them. The woman, who was identified in court documents only as S.E., was described as cognitively disabled.
Dettelbach said the suspects held the woman and child against their will from May 2011 through October 2012 in Ashland, Ohio, threatening the woman with a firearm, threatening both alleged victims with large snakes, and forcing them to sleep in a padlocked room with an iguana.
Callahan was also charged with tampering with a witness.
Prosecutors said Callahan and Hunt solicited S.E. and her child to live with them and Hunt's four sons, and then used S.E.'s government benefits cards to collect her monthly public assistance payments.
S.E. was forced to do housekeeping and shopping, and provide care for pit bulls and reptiles in the house.
Prosecutors said the suspects used a rock to inflict a hand injury on S.E. in August 2011 so they could obtain pain medication, and then injured her back in December 2011 to get more drugs.
Court documents indicate investigators first learned about the matter in October 2011, when S.E. was arrested for shoplifting and got police to accompany her to the home.