2 Women Escape Fla. Home Where Couple Allegedly Enslaved and Sexually Abused Them for Years
Police allege the couple "punished" the women if they didn't smile in public
Police have arrested a Florida couple for allegedly holding two young women captive on their farm for years while sexually abusing and beating them, PEOPLE confirms.
The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office detained Mirko Ceska, 58, and his wife, Regina Ceska, 55, on Friday — nearly two weeks after the two alleged victims approached officers saying they’d escaped days before from the couple’s Crawfordville home.
“Two females for whom Mirko and Regina Ceska exercised custodial responsibility reported … they had escaped from them on June 28, 2019, after being physically and sexually abused for years,” reads a statement from the sheriff’s office.
The women described the couple as “doomsday preppers” who maintained a number of properties throughout the United States, stocked with food rations and weapons, they could escape to “in the event of a major calamity.”
According to the statement, the two young women were allegedly forced to work the couple’s farm, starting each day at 5:30 a.m.
“The females stated they had been trained to raise pigs, raise sheep, grow various fruits and vegetables, sheer sheep, utilize a loom, and sew,” explains the statement.
Additionally, the statement alleges the women said they were “not allowed to go anywhere, couldn’t have friends, couldn’t have cell phones, nor talk to people in public places. They stated they were not allowed to agree, talk or shake hands with anyone in public; rather, they were instructed to always look happy.”
Investigators allege the women were punished if they did not smile.
“The females described a variety of punishments including verbal abuse, restricting their food intake, and beatings,” reads the statement. “The most recent beating was reportedly done to [one of the victims] by Mirko Ceska with a metal rod. Detectives noted marks and bruises on the female’s back and arm.”
The couple allegedly sexually abused the women as well, according to the statement.
“Both females described episodes where Mirko Ceska would force sex acts upon them, some with the support of Regina Ceska,” the statement alleges.
Authorities executed at search warrant at the farm on Friday.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
“During the search, large quantities of food rations and survivalist items were located,” the statement explains. “Detectives seized dozens of high quality firearms and many cases of ammunition from throughout the house. Some of the firearms were hidden behind false walls or a staircase.”
Police also found “a homemade video” that allegedly “depicted an event wherein Mirko had his face very close to both females’ faces and was screaming that they had stolen food.”
Mirko Ceska has been charged with sexual battery, sexual assault, abuse, and neglect.
Two counts of failure to report abuse and two counts of neglect were filed against Regina Ceska.
PEOPLE was unable to determine if either had entered pleas to the charges they face or whether either had retained legal counsel who could speak on their behalf.
Both remain behind bars, according to online court records.
Police have not released the women’s ages.
It is unclear how the victims came to be in the couple’s custody.