From staff reports
Two Belpre men are accused of repeatedly drugging a relative and performing a so-called exorcism on her, as well as animal cruelty.
While responding to a call Thursday night at 150 Camelot Road, Belpre, Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested twin brothers Robert and Thomas Trezza, both 45, for second-degree felony charges of abduction and corrupting another with drugs.
Sheriff Larry Mincks said the call was made by a family member who was concerned about the welfare of Robert's wife, Susan, 40.
"I think it was concern from a relative that had been by there," Mincks said. "They were concerned by her demeanor; they said that she looked different. They sort of suspected that she may have been given some type of drug or something."
On scene, deputies noticed that Susan was conscious but was despondent and unresponsive. She was taken to the hospital, where she told medical staff she was afraid to return home and that she felt her husband was trying to overdose her on her own medication.
Preliminary test results from the hospital showed traces of benzodiazepines and methamphetamine in Susan's system. Definitive testing is pending.
Mincks said Robert refused to talk to deputies Thursday, and had still made no comment on Friday, but Thomas told deputies he and Robert had forcefully administered medication to Susan, both by holding her and forcing her to take it, as well as secretly administering it in her food and drink.
Thomas admitted that sleeping medication had also been administered forcefully and said he saw demons inside of Susan and was ordained by God to exorcise them. Thomas and Robert allegedly performed an exorcism on Susan, the time of which is unknown. One of Susan's brothers reportedly took a video of it.
Mincks said it is unknown how long the situation has been going on in the home, but a brother who was in the residence regularly said it has been going on for some time.
"There has been some indication from her brother it had been going on for some period of time, maybe as long as six months," Mincks said.
In addition to the felony counts, the brothers were also charged with second-degree misdemeanor animal cruelty charges and failure to register a dog.
Mincks said three malnourished Pomeranians were found in the home, and a fourth had been buried in the yard. No dog food was present in the house.
Bond has been set for both brothers at $102,500, $50,000 for each felony count and $2,500 for the animal cruelty charges.
There was an 8- or 9-year-old child in the home as well, said Mincks.
"Children Services was called and they are dealing with the child now," he said, adding that a relative might have been called in to care for the child.
Mincks said many details are still unknown and that more charges will likely be forthcoming from the prosecutor.
"We are now continuing the investigation," he said.