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Social workers made several visits to an Ashland home during the time that federal prosecutors allege the tenants were imprisoning and abusing a cognitively-impaired woman and her 5 year-old daughter.

An attorney representing a man accused of raping and torturing a cognitively impaired woman today tried to paint his client as a victim.

A woman who prosecutors say was imprisoned by an Ashland couple testified Tuesday in federal court that her captors held her against her will by using violence, rape and humiliation.

The mentally challenged woman who is the alleged victim in a federal labor trafficking case took the stand Monday and described how she and her 5-year-old daughter were forced to live in a cold, dark basement while the defendants spent her Social Security money and government assistance money.

Dezerah Silsby, a codefendant in a federal labor-trafficking conspiracy trial, testified Friday in Ohio’s Northern District Federal Court that she used a rock to injure a woman’s hand, to help two others fraudulently obtain painkillers.

While a mentally disabled woman lived with an Ashland couple, she went from weighing 143 pounds in August 2010 to weighing 110 pounds in May 2012, according to emergency room records at Samaritan Regional Health System.

Witnesses taking the stand Thursday in the trial of a couple accused of holding a mentally handicapped woman and her daughter hostage for two years described squalid living conditions where the two were forced to live in a locked basement with pit bulls, pythons and piles of feces.

The snowy, icy winter has lead to brisk sales of rock salt. While, some Mahoning Valley retailers have run out, others are on their fifth truckload delivery.

If you like “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” or “Downton Abbey,” you can thank The Beatles. Before they came along, the biggest export from Great Britain was Jaguar. That all changed after the group’s first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Feb. 9, 1964. After that, all things “British” became a phenomenon.

In response to the predicted polar temperatures, The Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley will operate a warming center through Jan. 29 at Liberty Center, 3530 Belmont Ave., Suite 7.