A HIGH school teacher from Milwaukee, Wisconsin has been accused of human trafficking and sexual assault after he allegedly forced a Filipina woman and her son into servitude after promising them a better life in the United States.
Christian Mothershead, 46, made his initial court appearance on Tuesday, September 3. He faces two counts of human trafficking, and one count of second-degree sexual assault — both felonies.
According to the criminal complaint filed in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, the Filipina mother met Mothershead on an online dating website in the summer of 2017.
About a month later, Mothershead visited her in the Philippines for three weeks and promised to marry her, enroll her son in school, take care of her family, and pick her up at the airport with roses if she moved to the U.S.
By November 2018, the Filipina mother and her son arrived in the U.S. but were greeted instead with cleaning supplies and were instructed to clean Mothershead’s home if they wanted to eat.
The complaint described the home as having “piled up garbage and blackened food sitting out” upon arrival.
The complaint also said that the Filipina told investigators that Mothershead sexually assaulted her that same night.
Mothershead continued to force them to clean and threatened to take away food and water, or send them back to the Philippines if they did not, according to the complaint. They were also banned from watching TV and were told that they should “always be cleaning.”
On one occasion for Thanksgiving, Mothershead allegedly made the mother and son sit on a couch and watch as he and his own son ate an “elaborate meal” the Filipina and her son cooked for everyone.
The reason Mothershead gave was because “Thanksgiving is for Americans.”
When the Filipina’s son — who the complaint said was forced to sleep on mattress with no sheets or blankets — got sick, Mothershead refused to let him see a doctor.
By December 2018, the Filipina mother eventually notified police while Mothershead was at work, and she and her son were taken to a shelter.
Milwaukee Public Schools, which employed Mothershead as a Mandarin Chinese teacher at one of its public high schools, has put Mothershead on unpaid leave as the investigation continues.
Mothershead faces $300,000 in fines and a maximum of 90 years in prison if convicted as charged. He is currently out on bail.
Mothershead’s attorney told reporters in a press conference that his client was “in shock” and “angry that these charges have been made against him.”
“There is not a shred of evidence in any of it. And he feels that he’s been victimized at his point by her,” the attorney said.
“I did none of these things,” Mothershead told local Milwaukee news channel WTMJ. “They’re all lies.”