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Crime News Indian student held captive for months, beaten, forced into labor

Washington: Authorities in the US have rescued a 20-year-old Indian student who was held hostage for months without access to a bathroom, brutally beaten and forced to work in three houses by his cousin and two other men. did. Absolutely inhuman and unconscionable.” The victim, whose name was not disclosed, spent months trapped in three houses in the US state of Missouri.

On Wednesday, police responded to a home on a rural highway in St. Charles County. They later arrested Venkatesh R Sattaru, Shravan Verma Penumetscha and Nikhil Verma Penumetscha and charged them with crimes including human trafficking, kidnapping and assault on Thursday.

Police were dispatched to investigate the home after a concerned citizen became aware of her condition and called 911.

Prosecutor Joe McCulloch said the victim is safe and is being treated in hospital for multiple bone fractures as well as lacerations and bruises throughout his body.

According to the allegations, for seven months, the men locked the student in a basement and forced him to sleep on an unfinished floor without access to a bathroom.

A major regional newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reported that he searched trash in the trash bins of nearby restaurants and found electrical cord, PVC pipe, metal rods, wooden boards, sticks and water for a washing machine. Beaten with supply hose.

“It is absolutely inhumane and unconscionable that one human being could treat another human being this way,” McCulloch said at a news conference Thursday.

According to the official website of St. Charles County, the three defendants are accused of confining and abusing the victim at three separate homes owned by Sattaru in Defiance, Dardenne Prairie and O’Fallon, starting in April 2023.

Sattaru was identified by investigators as the ringleader and lives in the O’Fallon home with his wife and children.

The main suspect in the case, 35-year-old Sattaru, has been additionally charged with human trafficking for the purpose of slavery and contributing to human trafficking through document abuse.

Penumetcha and Penamatsa live in the house where the student was rescued.

The student came to the United States from India last year with hopes of studying at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, officials said. Instead, she was taken to Sattaru’s homes in early April and forced to start work around 4:30 a.m., work all day for Sattaru’s IT company, and then complete a list of tasks in the evening. to be done.

According to court documents, the student told police he regularly took three-hour naps on the concrete floor in a locked basement, where Sattaru kept an eye on him with a surveillance camera.

If the 20-year-old man did not complete the task properly, he was beaten severely. The allegations state that she was forced to strip naked and was beaten all over her body. According to the allegations, he was kicked, stomped and whipped, and his injuries included previous fractures and bruises that did not heal properly.

No one opened the door at Sattaru’s house on Thursday afternoon. None of the three men had attorneys listed in court documents.

“They beat him with their fists, they attacked him, they beat him with electrical wires, PVC pipes,” McCulloch said. “They forced her to sleep in an unfinished basement, they starved her, and limited her access to the public and to toilets.” McCulloch praised the citizen for making the rescue possible.

“If you see something, say something. We’d rather investigate and find nothing than have something like this go on for almost a year,” McCulloch said.

McCulloch said that because all three suspects are wealthy and have political connections in India, they are being held in the St. Charles County Jail without bond.

Neighbors in O’Fallon were shaken by Thursday’s arrests.

Many said they had pleasant conversations with family, waved to them as they walked down the street, or played with children on the street.

“It’s definitely shocking,” said Chirag Shah, who lives across the street from Sattaru’s house.

And in Defiance, an unincorporated community of fewer than 100 people known for its winery, gift shops and location along the Katy Trail, neighbors noticed police coming to the home early Wednesday morning, the newspaper reported. .

Police were first told by a person in the home that they couldn’t come inside, but the 20-year-old man eventually came running from the basement. According to the allegations, he was shivering uncontrollably, badly injured and had bruises and swelling all over his body.

(This report is published as part of an auto-generated syndicated wire feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been modified or edited by ABP Live.)

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