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St. Charles County Case: Indian Student Reportedly Abused, Sleep Deprived by Relative

Monday, December 11, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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In St. Charles County, an Indian man, 20, was allegedly subjected to severe abuse and trafficking by a prominent figure in India, according to charging documents.

Venkatesh Reddy Sattaru, 35, and two others face charges, including slavery, kidnapping, and forced labor, stemming from an investigation in Defiance, Missouri, which began after a concerned citizen's report.

The concerned person, witnessing the victim's anxious state at a restaurant, exchanged contact details. Recent WhatsApp conversations prompted the victim's cry for help on Wednesday.

Law enforcement responded to the residence, initially refused entry, but stayed nearby. The victim eventually fled the home, seeking aid from officers, revealing extensive injuries.

Prosecutor Joseph McCulloch mentioned the victim's severe scarring from head to toe, inflicted through daily beatings and abuse over eight months at three different Missouri locations owned by Sattaru.

The victim detailed restricted food, minimal sleep, and routine brutality, compelled to work for Sattaru's IT firm, provide massages, and endure limited sleep in an unfinished basement, monitored by video surveillance. Failure to comply led to beatings using electrical wires, pipes, and metal rods.

Sattaru, assisted by Penmatsa and Penumetcha, allegedly orchestrated these beatings. McCulloch described how Sattaru even remotely commanded the abuse, demanding harsher beatings if the victim didn't scream enough.

McCulloch revealed the victim's relation to the suspects, Sattaru being his cousin, heightening the barbarity of the situation. The victim, hospitalized with multiple fractures and significant weight loss, remains in the U.S., connecting with family in India.

Sattaru faces numerous charges, including human trafficking, while Penmatsa and Penumetcha also face charges related to forced labor, assault, and kidnapping. Authorities are detaining all three without bond due to concerns about their potential flight from the country. The detectives are safeguarding the victim and ensuring his safety at present.

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