A Wisconsin high school teacher is accused of luring a woman to the United States with the promise of a better life and then enslaving her and her son—forcing them to clean his filthy house and depriving the pair of food.
Christian Mothershead, a 46-year-old Mandarin teacher in the Milwaukee public school system, is now facing charges of human trafficking and sexual assault after authorities say he sexually assaulted the woman the first night she arrived from the Philippines and then forced her to spend her days cleaning his home and cooking his meals, local station WISN reports.
Mothershead allegedly met the woman on an online dating site in the summer of 2017 and then flew to the Philippines to meet her, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the station and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
While in the Philippines, Mothershead allegedly promised her a better life in the United States and said he would marry her, help get an education for her son and meet her at the airport with roses, local station WTMJ reports.
But when the woman—who wasn’t publicly identified—arrived in the United States in November 2018, there was no flower-filled greeting. Instead, according to the complaint, Mothershead brought the woman to his garbage-filled home and told her to clean it.
She told authorities trash was piled up throughout the home and blackened food was sitting out. If she and are son didn’t clean the home, they wouldn’t eat, the complaint alleged.
The woman also told investigators that Mothershead raped her the first night she arrived.
During their stay, their food and water was often restricted and Mothershead allegedly threatened to send them back to the Philippines if they didn’t comply with his demands. On one occasion, the woman said she and her son cooked an elaborate Thanksgiving meal for Mothershead and his son, but when the meal was complete, they weren’t allowed to sit with Mothershead. Instead, they had to watch the father-son duo eat the meal while they sat on the couch, the local paper reports.
He allegedly claimed that Thanksgivings was only for “Americans,” WISN reports.
“He just wants me to serve them,” she later told investigators.
While Mothershead had allegedly promised the woman he’d help her son get an education, the boy only received schooling from a local shelter and was forced to sleep on an mattress on the floor with no sheets, the complaint said.
The woman eventually contacted police and the family was taken to a shelter, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Mothershead, who has been teaching in the Milwaukee Public Schools since 2009, has been placed on unpaid leave while the investigation continues.
If convicted, he could face up to 90 years in jail.
His attorney told WISN that Mothershead wasn't guilty and had done nothing wrong.
“My client is in shock,” he said. “He vehemently is going to defend himself and fight these charges. He’s angry that these charges have been made against him. And, that there is not a shred of evidence in any of it.”
He went on to say that Mothershead feels like he has been the victim.
He is expected to appear in court again later this month.
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