Ohio

Three in Ohio Charged With Enslaving Mentally Ill Mother, Daughter

Two men and a women accused of abusing the two and forcing them to do housework

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A woman told authorities she was held captive for more than a year by three people who forced her to do housework, raided her bank account and menaced her with snakes and pit bulls.

But an attorney for one of the suspects and the alleged captor's mother said the mentally impaired woman was given a place to stay because she and her young daughter had no home and that the woman was free to move in an out whenever she wanted.

Authorities announced federal charges Tuesday against the three people the woman lived with in a blue-collar neighborhood in Ashland, about 65 miles southwest of Cleveland. Beginning in early 2011, they forced the mother to cooperate with them by threats and physical abuse, they said.