Texas Couple Allegedly Kept Shackled Woman as Cleaning Slave
Police in Ovilla, Texas, received a tip on Friday, Jan. 26, that a woman was being held against her will in a home in a quiet suburb 18 miles south of downtown Dallas.
Responding to the tip, officers visited the residence of Charlotte Kelly DeMars, 48, and Jean-Claude DeMars, 51, where they found a woman chained to a bed.
Ovilla police published a statement saying that the woman told them she had been “handcuffed, shackled, and chained to a bed in the residence and forced to work cleaning the residence.”
The woman, later identified as 51-year-old Donna Lopez, was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment.
Lopez claimed that she had had an intermittent but ongoing affair with Jean-Claude DeMars stretching back over eight years, WFAA reported.
She said that DeMars had been paying for her to stay at a Dallas hotel, but had at some point stopped, CBS DFW reports. Lopez then moved to a shelter in Irving, Texas.
She told police that DeMars had picked her up at the shelter on Jan. 14. The pair had stopped at a gas station, and DeMars got her an orange soda. She said after drank it, she passed out.
When she awoke, she told police she was shackled in the DeMars’s home. She was told that she would be “Charlotte’s slave,” WFAA reported, and was given only a bucket in place of a bathroom.
Jean-Claude DeMars admitted to picking Lopez up at the shelter in Iriving, and said they had indeed stopped at a gas station on the way back to Ovilla to get drinks. He claimed that Lopez began acting oddly after consuming the drink, so he took her home.
He also admitted to handcuffing and shackling her. According to the search warrant affidavit, “Mr. and Mrs. DeMars told officer that they did apply the chains and shackles to [the victim], but only because [she] requested it to avoid killing them in their sleep,” reported WFAA.
Lopez claims that on Jan. 26, the DeMars gave her a tablet device to entertain herself, and she was able to use it to contact a friend, who called the police.
The DeMars were arrested on charges of kidnapping, and as of Jan. 29, police said they were investigating a human trafficking charge as well.
The bond for each was set at $150,000, according to online jail records.
On his LinkedIn page, Jean-Claude DeMars describes himself as an expert in networking and security with the Windows operating system, who excels at explaining technical issues to people who lack an IT background.