Suspects in St. Charles County human trafficking case requesting bail

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ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – Three defendants involved in a human trafficking case in St. Charles County are hoping for a chance to get out of jail.

The three suspects are at the St. Charles County Jail on kidnapping and abuse charges without bond. There will be a hearing across the street at the St. Charles County Courthouse at 1:30 p.m. where the defense attorneys will make a case for their possible release.

The three defendants are accused of kidnapping, torturing, and abusing one of the suspect’s relatives from India, as well as using the 20-year-old victim as forced labor.

St. Charles Country Prosecutor Joe Mcculloch said because of the defendant’s wealth and influence, his office asked the courts to set no bond, and the courts agreed. According to court records, St. Charles County police uncovered the case when doing a welfare check at a property on Highway D in defiance. Police say the victim ran out of the home screaming for help.

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Venkatesh Sattaru, Nikhil Penmatsa, and Sravan Penumetcha are each charged with six felony counts. They include trafficking for the purposes of slavery, kidnapping, and abuse through forced labor.

Prosecutor Joe Mcculloch said in a news conference after the arrests that the suspects are not only related to the victim but also affluent people connected to India.

All three suspects have pleaded not guilty to the charges they’re facing. FOX 2 will update this story with more information as it becomes available.


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