Wakulla County abuse suspect free on bond

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By: Lanetra Bennett I WCTV Eyewitness News
July 17, 2019

CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Wakulla County man authorities call the 'doomsday prepper' is out on bond.

Wednesday morning, the judge set a $50,000 bond for 58-year-old Mirko Ceska.

Ceska and his 55-year-old wife, Regina, were arrested last Friday.

Authorities say their adopted twin daughter escaped from the home in Crawfordville.

Mrs. Ceska's bond hearing was Monday.

The twin daughters are 22 years old. They'd been living with the Ceskas since they were 11.

Court documents say they told authorities they were abused, and had to keep secrets about getaway spots out of town.

One of Mirko Ceska's defense attorneys, Don Pumphrey, flat out calls the daughters liars.

Defense Attorney Fred Conrad said, "We got a defense lawyer's worst nightmare, an innocent client on our hands."

Ceska is accused of sexually abusing his twin daughters since one was 16 and the other 18.

The daughters reported going up to three days without getting to eat food, and say Ceska and his wife didn't allow them to talk to people when in the public.

Ceska's longtime friend, Barbara Withers, says she's shocked by the allegations. "As far as I know, they were treated well by their family and they were well behaved." She said.

"He has cut hay on my land. Anything I wanted, he'd help me. His children were over there. I just can't say enough about him."Said, Doyle Donnell, a family friend.

Court documents say the Ceskas had guns hidden in walls and staircases at home, and say the property was self-sustaining with sheep, hogs, a water storage area and solar power panels to live off the grid.

The documents say the twins had to feed the animals and were beaten as punishment.

"This is not the case of some doomsday prepper holding a branch Davidian cult in some commune in Wakulla County. These are nothing but a nice tight-knit family that love each other very much." Said, Attorney Conrad.

Court documents say the daughters had to pay Ceska money they made from their job at Just Fruits and Exotics.

Michael Davino, Owner and CEO of Just Fruits & Exotics, provided this statement:

"The survivors do work for us and they are amazing individuals. And at this time we do not want to answer any questions regarding the details of the case. As their employer, we are doing anything and everything we can to support them and to assist the authorities on this case. We appreciate the community and all of their support."

Attorney Don Pumphrey says all accusations against the Ceskas are false because of "Pathology and the information shared with me by the state attorney. He's starting to unravel things."

"And our investigation. If you'd been in the room with me yesterday when I met with these clients, it was everything that I could do to hold back tears; and I don't cry about anything. I'm telling you, we got an innocent client." Attorney Conrad said.

The court documents say authorities found a home video showing Ceska in his underwear yelling at his daughters. They say he was close to one of their faces while screaming and using defaming remarks.

The documents say the twins were both dressed in t-shirts and panties, and say Ceska's wife was doing the recording.

The prosecutor says there's still a lot of evidence to go through.

It's too early to say if or when this will go to trial.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
July 17, 2019

CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Mirko Ceska made his first appearance in court on Wednesday after being arrested, along with his wife, last weekend on charges of child abuse, sexual assault and child neglect.

Authorities say the two female victims escaped from the Ceskas' home on July 1. The couple adopted them when they were 11-years-old and are now 22.

Court documents say the daughters accuse the Ceskas of physical abuse and Mr. Ceska of sexual abuse.

Ceska is being released on $50,000 bond and has been ordered to have no contact with the two female victims and has been ordered to surrender his firearms.

Court documents say the Ceskas had guns stored in the walls and behind a modified staircase in their home, with more than 10 cases of ammunition.

Documents also say they had extensive food rations and had developed a self-sustaining property to survive off the grid.

Authorities have referred to the couple as "doomsday preppers."

According to court documents, the victims escaped the home after Mr. Ceska beat one of them with a metal rod.

The judge did allow his request to go home and be with his wife, Regina, who had her first court appearance on Monday.

Defense attorney's for the Ceskas tell WCTV they are adamant about the innocence of the couple.

This is a developing story. WCTV's Lanetra Bennett will have a full report on Eyewitness News throughout the day.



 
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