Three Ohio men are currently under scrutiny following allegations of severe physical abuse and inhumane treatment of a 20-year-old foreign student. The student, who had arrived in the United States on a student visa to further his education, was purportedly held captive in various basements of properties owned by Venkatesh Sattaru throughout Ohio.
The St. Charles County Police Department was summoned to perform a wellness check at a residence in Defiance, Ohio. However, they were unable to establish contact with the alleged victim. The severity of the situation only became apparent when the victim managed to escape from the house, crying out for assistance.
Sattaru, 35, along with Sravan Penumetcha and Nikhil Penmatsa, face charges including trafficking for the purpose of slavery or forced labor, aiding and abetting human trafficking, first-degree domestic assault, and kidnapping, as per the police report.
While under the control of these three men, the victim was allegedly forced to work extended hours at Sattaru’s business, performing low-level tasks. If the work did not meet the suspects’ expectations, they would reportedly physically assault and whip him. The victim was also allegedly deprived of sleep and starved.
The victim is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital for multiple fractures in his hands, feet, arms, and ribs, as well as scars and lacerations across his body, as reported by the authorities.
Sattaru, Penumetcha, and Penmatsa are currently detained without bond. It is unclear whether they have entered pleas or secured legal counsel.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the alleged victim arrived in the United States in April with the intention of studying at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.