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4th suspect in Ashland captive case in court

11:09 PM, Jun 20, 2013   |    comments
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  • CLEVELAND  --  The first of four suspects is due in federal court in a forced labor case, alleging an Ohio woman, Shannon Eckley, was held captive with her 5-year-old daughter, threatened and made to do housework.

    Michael Tobin, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Cleveland, says bond was set at $25,000 for Dezerah Silsby, 21, Thursday afternoon after she pleaded not guilty in court before Magistrate Judge Nancy A. Vecchiarelli.

    She will also be required to check in three times a week with the court.

    The charge against Silsby was unsealed Wednesday after she turned herself in. She is being represented by attorney Jennifer Yobe Scott.

    An FBI affidavit says Silsby admitted she helped retrieve the alleged victims from their relative's house and had slammed the woman's hand in a door and smashed it with a rock.

    The other suspects are expected to have bond hearings Monday.

    An attorney, who formerly represented one of four suspects now named in a federal case involving an Ashland mom and her young daughter being held captive, is speaking out about evidence he believes is critical to the case.

    Defense attorney Andy Hyde claims video of the alleged victim beating her child disproves many of the points in the prosecution's case.

    "(The video) shows her just continually slapping a child it's a child who is ducking trying to protect itself from her mother," said Hyde.

    "She denied beating her child and when confronted with evidence...her story then changed to well they were making me do it."

    However U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach says the alleged victim and her child were preyed upon, threatened, and beaten into servitude.

    Investigators have also thoroughly reviewed the videos Hyde mentioned, and they believe the videos were staged and used as leverage to keep the victim from trying to escape.

    "They treated her worse than they treated the animals that were in that house," explained Dettelbach. "They tried to take away her human dignity."

    "When you first look at the video it appears pretty bad...through the investigation I think we determined that it was a staged video," explained Lt. Joel Eisenhower with the Ashland Police Department.


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