Wisconsin man arrested, accused of enslaving Filipina and her son

By: Inquirer.net - Inquirer.net | September 07,2019 - 09:24 AM

Chrstian Motherswell was charged with human trafficking and sexual assault. MILWAUKEE CTY JAIL

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin – A high school teacher lured a Filipino woman and her son to the U.S., promising them a better life but instead forced them to work as his servants. He is facing felony charges.

Christian Mothershead, 46, of West Allis was charged Aug. 30 in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with two counts of human trafficking and one count of second-degree sexual assault, all felonies.

Mothershead, a teacher of Mandarin, met the unidentified woman on a dating website in 2017. He then traveled to the Philippines, promising to marry her and further her education if she agreed to move to the United States, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

But upon coming to the U.S. in November 2018, mother and son were allegedly given cleaning gloves and masks and told to clean up Mothershead’s filthy West Allis home. Motherswell allegedly threatened not to feed the woman and her son unless they started cleaning right away, the complaint said. The woman told police that Mothershead raped her later that evening.

She spent the next several weeks cleaning his home under threat of being sent back to the Philippines, according to the complaint.

Mothershead also told the woman and her son that they “should always be cleaning” and weren’t allowed to watch his television, WITI reports.

The mistreatment continued through Thanksgiving, the woman told police, saying she and her son cooked a holiday meal she and her son were not even allowed to enjoy because “Thanksgiving is for Americans,” WISN reports.

When the woman finally called police, she told investigators she “felt like she was trapped and a slave,” according to the complaint.

Mothershead, released on bail, faces up to 90 years in prison if convicted and is expected back in court later this month.

A Milwaukee Public Schools spokesperson told the Journal Sentinel that Mothershead, who has denied the allegations, has been placed on unpaid leave.

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