Police arrested Venkatesh R Sattaru, Sravan Varma Penumetcha and Nikhil Verma Penmatsa from a home on a rural highway in St Charles County.
St Charles County, MO
A 20-year-old Indian student, who was held captive for months without access to a bathroom, mercilessly beaten, and forced to work at three homes by his cousin and two other men, in an incident described as “absolutely inhumane and unconscionable.”
The victim spent months trapped in three homes in the US state of Missouri.
Police descended upon a home on a rural highway in St Charles County. Police arrested Venkatesh R Sattaru, Sravan Varma Penumetcha and Nikhil Verma Penmatsa from a home on a rural highway in St Charles County. The 3 men are charged with offences including human trafficking, kidnapping, and assault.
Police were dispatched to investigate the home after a concerned citizen raised an alarm and called 911. The victim is safe and being treated at a hospital for multiple bone fractures, as well as lacerations and injuries covering his entire body, said prosecutor Joe McCulloch.
Over seven months, the men locked the student in a basement and forced him to sleep on an unfinished floor without access to a bathroom, charges say.
“It’s absolutely inhumane and unconscionable that one human being could treat another human being like this,” said McCulloch at a news conference.
The three defendants are accused of confining and abusing the victim at three different homes owned by Sattaru in Defiance, Dardenne Prairie and O’Fallon, starting in April 2023, according to St Charles County’s official website.
Sattaru was identified by investigators as the ringleader and lives in the O’Fallon home with his wife and children.
The main suspect in the case, Sattaru, 35, is additionally charged with human trafficking for the purpose of slavery and contributing to human trafficking through misuse of documentation.
Penumetcha and Penmatsa live in the home where the student was rescued.
Authorities said the student had come to the US from India last year with hopes of studying at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. Instead, he was taken to Sattaru’s homes beginning in April and was forced to begin chores around 4:30 am, work a full day for Sattaru’s IT company and then complete a list of evening tasks.