3 Men Hold 20-Year-Old Student Captive, Use Him as Slave and Regularly Beat Him

DEFIANCE, Ohio – Three men in Ohio are under investigation after being accused of allegedly subjecting a 20-year-old student to deplorable conditions and physical abuse. The victim, who had come to the United States on a student visa to pursue an education, was reportedly held captive in multiple basements of homes owned by Venkatesh Sattaru across Ohio.

According to the St. Charles County Police Department, authorities were called to conduct a wellness check at a residence in Defiance, Ohio. However, they were unable to make contact with the alleged victim. It was only when the victim burst out of the front door, screaming for help, that the authorities became aware of the dire situation.

The charges laid against Sattaru, 35, Sravan Penumetcha, and Nikhil Penmatsa include trafficking for purposes of slavery or forced labor, contributing to human trafficking, accessory domestic assault in the first degree, and kidnapping, according to the police.

While in the custody of these three men, the victim was reportedly made to work long hours at Sattaru’s company, performing menial tasks. Allegedly, if the work did not meet the suspects’ standards, they would physically assault and whip him. The victim was also said to have been deprived of sleep and subjected to starvation.

The victim is currently receiving treatment at a hospital for multiple fractures in his hands, feet, arms, and ribs, along with scars and lacerations across his body, as stated by the authorities.

Sattaru, Penumetcha, and Penmatsa are currently being held without bond. It remains uncertain whether they have entered pleas or obtained legal representation.

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.