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DeWine: Human trafficking under-reported

DeWine: Human trafficking under-reported

(Ashland) - It happens more than you may think.

That's what Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says about human trafficking in the state. His comments come after Tuesday's announcement that a woman was held captive in Ashland by three people who forced her to do housework, raided her bank account and menaced her with snakes.

DeWine says this kind of coercion is done, and we don't even recognize that it's happening.

An attorney for one of the suspects and the alleged captor's mother says the mentally impaired woman was given a place to stay because she and her 5-year-old daughter had no home.

DeWine says when you deal with someone who's mentally disabled, it does make it harder on the prosecution.

The two men and a woman were charged with forced labor on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland. They were ordered jailed until a bond hearing on Monday.

Ashland police first got involved when the woman was charged with shoplifting a candy bar and asked to be jailed because the three suspects "had been mean to her."

Authorities say the woman lived with the trio from early 2011 until October.

DeWine was asked how often human trafficking happens? He says we just don't know because it's an under-reported crime.

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(Copyright © 2013 by Clear Channel and the Associated Press, all rights reserved. House photo by Kaitlin Durbin/Mansfield News Journal)

 

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