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Three Indian Origin Men in Missouri Charged with Trapping Indian Student

Venkatesh R. Sattaru, Nikhil V. Penmatsa, and Sravan Varma Penumetcha face charges related to keeping Sattaru's cousin in the locked basement of a home in the Defiance area where he was beaten and abused


(L-R) Venkatesh R. Sattaru, Nikhil V. Penmatsa, & Sravan Varma Penumetcha (Photo by:
St. Charles County Dept. of Corrections)


ST CHARLES, MO- A 20-year-old Indian student was trapped, forced to do chores, and endure severe beatings at the hands of his cousin and two other men. Three men in Missouri have been charged in this connection. The victim’s name has not been released. He came to the US from India last year with hopes of studying at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. Instead, he was forced to spend seven months trapped in homes across St. Charles County, Missouri. The man was rescued by the police on Wednesday.

The three men arrested are — Venkatesh R. Sattaru, Sravan Varma Penumetcha and Nikhil Verma Penmatsa. The men are charged with offenses including human trafficking, kidnapping and assault.

According to reports, over a period of seven months, the three men locked the student in a basement. He was forced to sleep on an unfinished floor without access to a bathroom, according to the charges.

The atrocities did not end here. The student had to scavenge for scraps in nearby restaurant dumpsters. He was beaten with electrical wire, PVC pipe, metal rods, wooden boards, sticks and a water supply hose.

The student spent time locked inside houses in O’Fallon, Dardenne Prairie and the unincorporated community of Defiance. All the three houses are owned by Sattaru, who was identified by investigators as the ringleader. He lived in the O’Fallon home with his family. After the student arrived in the US, Beginning April, he was taken to Sattaru’s home. Once there, he was forced to begin chores as early as 4:30 am After which he would work full day in Satturu’s IT company and then complete a list of tasks for the evening. If he was not found to do his jobs well, he was beaten severely. He was also forced to strip down naked and kicked, stomped and lashed according to the charges.

According to the police, they had been tipped off by someone who saw the student at a restaurant and was concerned because he looked injured and anxious. The tipster gave him a phone number to contact if he needed help, then called police after receiving a message from him on Wednesday morning.


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