Teen held sex slave for 2 yrs

US: A 25-year-old southwestern Illinois man was charged Saturday with aggravated criminal sexual abuse in connection with a St. Louis teenager who said she was held captive in his home for three years.
 
St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said Saturday that Steven Elliot Johnson had sex with the then-underage teenager.
 
Johnson's mother, 54-year-old Owida Johnson, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment.
 
Both are in St. Clair County Jail. Steven Johnson was being held on $2 million bond, his mother on $15,000 bond. No court date has been set and Kelly said no attorneys have been appointed.
 
Speaking to The Associated Press, Kelly wouldn't comment on whether the charges back up the story the 19-year-old woman told police about being held against her will and conceiving a son during the first year she allegedly was at the Washington Park home.
 
The now-2-year-old boy was taken from the home by a police SWAT team Thursday.
 
Kelly said that there were unsafe and unsanitary conditions in the home, including exposed wiring, spoiled food in the refrigerator, animal feces in the house and insect and vermin activity.
 
He said the two counts of child endangerment involve two children, but would not say to whom the other child belonged.
 
Police say the teenager told them she met the suspect through someone else and that she visited his home around the time she was reported missing. The man later wouldn't allow her to go back home to her parents, according to police.
 
According to the teen, the suspect's mother helped detain her and helped falsify medical records, police say.

The teen told investigators the man and his mother coerced her into using a false name when giving birth to conceal that she was underage, according to police.
 
The young woman has told police she repeatedly tried to escape the house, which is on Washington Park's busiest street and next door to a convenience store, just a half mile from a freeway.

But her captor chased her down each time and forced her back to the home at gunpoint, according to police.
 
Steven Johnson faces a separate felony charge of promotion of prostitution. Kelly would not say if that was related to the teenager.
 
Johnson also faces two felony drug charges and a felony gun charge. Combined, his charges would bring a maximum sentence of 30 years.
 
Kelly would not comment on the possibility of other charges, saying only that the investigation is ongoing.
 
Washington Park is a village of 4,200 people tucked on the edge of East St. Louis in one of Illinois' poorest regions. Known for its strip clubs and poverty, the community has grappled for years with corruption and violent crime punctuated by the 2010 shooting death of the village's mayor, John Thornton.
 
The village twice has filed for bankruptcy since 2004, the last time in 2009.

7-year-old boy shoots neighbor

US: Connecticut police say a 7-year-old boy accidentally shot his adult neighbor in the chest using the man's own handgun.
 
Police say the man was taken to a hospital but his wound is not life-threatening.
 
Authorities have not said how the boy got ahold of the gun or what led to the shooting in Prospect.
 
State police continue to investigate.

Kidney for patient's transplant put in trash

US: A nurse accidentally disposed of a kidney from a living donor this month at an Ohio hospital, and doctors tried unsuccessfully for at least two hours to resuscitate the organ in what medical experts describe as a rare accident, health officials said.
 
"Human error rendered the kidney unusable," University of Toledo Medical Center spokesman Toby Klinger said Saturday, but he declined to give more details, citing the hospital's investigation into what happened and its respect for the privacy of the patients involved.
 
But, one of the doctors involved told Dr. David Grossman, a Toledo-Lucas County health commissioner, that a nurse disposed of the kidney improperly. Two nurses have been placed on paid administrative leave while the hospital reviews what happened, Klinger said.
 
Grossman told the Blade newspaper in Toledo that a man had donated the kidney to his older sister. Both the donor and the intended recipient have been released from the hospital, Klinger said.
 
The hospital has voluntarily suspended the live kidney donor program while they review what happened and determine how to prevent errors in the future, according to Dr. Jeffrey Gold, the medical center's chancellor and vice president for biosciences and health affairs.
 
He said that doctors tried to save the kidney, but "the physician in consultation with the family decided to not take the risk knowing there was a good chance for another highly compatible donor."
 
Grossman's office is not involved in the investigation or connected to the medical center, Klinger said. Grossman could not be reached for comment Saturday. The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department was closed, and Grossman's home telephone number was not available.
 
This kind of accident is unheard of in organ transplant centers and it was a good decision not to use the kidney, Dr. William Harmon, director of kidney transplantation at Boston Children's Hospital, told the Blade.
 
"This is unfortunately what medicine is like - it is not perfect, and there have been far worse cases where the donor has died," Harmon said.
 
Officials at the United Network for Organ Sharing, an agency that oversees the nation's transplant programs, could not be reached for comment Saturday.
 
There were 16,816 kidney transplants nationwide last year from live donors and from those who consented to organ donation through state registries should they die from an illness or accident, the newspaper reported.
 
Last year, 136 people in Ohio died waiting for a kidney, and 4,711 people died nationally waiting for a kidney, the newspaper reported.

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)

 

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