3 Housemates Charged With Physically Abusing Woman for Not Doing Chores Properly

A 21-year-old woman was beaten almost daily by three housemates with a frying pan, belt buckle, hammer and other objects as punishment for not doing her housework properly, state police said.

Mickel Johnson, 24, was charged with second-degree assault and second-degree unlawful imprisonment for the physical abuse against Lenisha Artis in the home they shared at Fort Drum. Artis was also tied to a chair with her mouth taped shut and had boiling water poured over her, leaving extreme scarring, troopers said.

State police also charged Trina Strait, 40, with first-degree and second-degree assault and Crystal Johnson, 37, with two counts of second-degree assault.

"She wasn't doing her chores," said state police Investigator Stephen Kealy.

The abuse began in late April or early May and continued for two months.

Artis moved from Virginia to Fort Drum with Mickel Johnson in January, Kealy said.

The arrests on Saturday stemmed from a complaint by Artis to Fort Drum Federal Police, who assisted with the investigation.

None of the three suspects is a soldier, but Strait and Mickel Johnson are "military dependents," Kealy said. The investigator did not know whether Crystal Johnson and Mickel Johnson were related.

Bail was set at $25,000 for Strait, $20,000 for Crystal Johnson and $15,000 for Mickel Johnson. They were being held in the Jefferson County jail.