Appeals court upholds convictions in Ohio forced labor case

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal appeals panel has upheld the convictions and sentences of a couple charged with enslaving a mentally disabled woman in their northeast Ohio home for nearly two years through intimidation, threats and abuse.

The three-judge 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Cincinnati unanimously agreed Tuesday that the federal charges were appropriate and that the prison sentences of at least three decades each were warranted.

A federal jury in Youngstown convicted Jessica Hunt and boyfriend Jordie Callahan last year on counts of forced labor, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and conspiracy to illegally obtain prescription drugs.

Prosecutors said they threatened to harm the woman’s daughter and used dogs and a python for intimidation.

A defense attorney expressed disappointment and expects further appeals. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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