Woman gets prison time in Ohio forced-labor case

Dezerah Silsby

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman accused of using ice cream to lure a mentally disabled woman and her child to captivity in a forced-labor case has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.

A federal judge sentenced 22-year-old Ashland resident Dezerah Silsby on Thursday to three years and nine months behind bars.

Silsby’s attorney had sought a shorter sentence and says they’re disappointed but respect the judge’s decision.

Authorities alleged Silsby beat the woman and made her do housework. Silsby pleaded guilty to two counts: a conspiracy charge and a charge of acquiring controlled substances by deception. A forced-labor charge and a charge alleging theft of government benefits were dismissed under a plea deal.

Three more defendants pleaded or were found guilty. Silsby testified she was threatened by the others and feared having her child taken away.

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