Wisconsin teacher accused of enslaving Filipino woman and her son
A teacher in Wisconsin has been accused of enslaving a Filipino woman and her son, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Christian Mothershead, a Mandarin teacher at a Milwaukee high school, faces two charges of human trafficking for allegedly holding the woman and her son in his house and depriving them of basic human needs.
The documents state that Mothershead met the unnamed woman on a dating website in 2017, then convinced her to move to America under the promise that he'd marry her. She arrived with her son in 2018, finding a very different situation.
Mothershead had promised to pick the woman up at the airport with flowers, but instead, he allegedly presented the pair with cleaning gloves and masks. He then immediately forced them to clean his entire house — which the complaint said was "very dirty, had garbage piled up and blackened food on the table" — for three days straight.
From that point on Mothershead controlled nearly every aspect of their lives, refusing to let them drink "pure" water and preventing them from watching TV until after they'd completed his chores. He also often deprived them of food, allegedly making them go for up to a day without eating.
WITI-TV, one of the news outlets given access to the complaint, described Mothershead as telling them "they would not eat if they did not clean."
Mothershead is also charged with one count of sexual assault after the woman told authorities he raped her the first night she slept in his house. She said she broke his bed frame while attempting to resist, which caused him to raise his hand and threaten to hit her.
Then, on Thanksgiving of that year, Mothershead allegedly forced the woman to cook an elaborate meal for him and his son, however, he wouldn't allow her to eat with his family. The report says he told the woman and her son that "Thanksgiving is for Americans."
The woman called the police in December of 2018, telling them she "felt like she was trapped and a slave." Mothershead was charged for the crimes last week and now faces up to 90 years in prison if he is convicted.
Mothershead denies the accusations, telling WTMJ-TV that "they're all lies" and that he "did none of those things."
A spokesperson for Milwaukee Public Schools also stated that Mothershead had been placed on unpaid leave.