Ashland woman gets 45 mos. in slavery case

Staff report


An Ashland woman has been sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison for her role in a conspiracy in which a cognitively disabled woman and her child were held against their will for more than two years, and the woman was forced to perform manual labor.

Dezerah L. Silsby, 22, drew the 45-month prison term Thursday from U.S. District Court Judge Benita Pearson.

Silsby pleaded guilty last year to four counts of an indictment charging her with threatening the woman, beating her and making her do housework.

“This defendant physically hurt another person as a way to get drugs and played a role in denying the victim and her daughter freedom,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

“Silsby admittedly inflicted pain and stole from a person being held against her will in order to feed her own drug habit. This sentence is well-deserved for these cruel acts,” said Stephen D. Anthony, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office.

Daniel J. Brown, 34, is serving a five-year prison term for his role in the crimes.

Jordie L. Callahan, 27, and Jessica L. Hunt, 32, both of Ashland, were convicted in a jury trial and will be sentenced in July.

Silsby smashed the woman’s hand with a rock so she could go to a hospital and bring back a prescription for pain medication that Silsby, Callahan and Hunt would share, according to an FBI affidavit.

The case was investigated by the FBI and Ashland police with assistance from the Ashland County Prosecutor’s Office.

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