© 2024 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Attorney Refutes Details In 'Doomsday Prepper' Case

Mirko Cescka speaking to a member of his legal team.
Blaise Gainey

A Crawfordville man is accused of physically, verbally and sexually abusing his two adopted daughters. The 22-year-old twins say 58-year-old Mirko Ceska and his wife, Regina have been abusing them for years up until their alleged escape on July 1.

Mirko Ceska is facing two first degree felony charges that carry a life sentence. Charge his defense attorney Don Pumphrey claims are made up.

"The escape thing that was mentioned, there’s no escape," claims Pumphrey. "There’s a picture two weeks earlier where the whole family is on the beach at St. George Island with no restrictions. They can go and come as they please."
But the women say they escaped after Mirko Ceska assaulted one of them with a metal rod leaving injuries that were later photographed by the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office.
In response, officers arrested Mirko Ceska and his wife Regina. During a search of their home police found evidence that aligned with the story told by the victims. They say Mirko is a “doomsday prepper,” 28 guns were found hidden around the house. The daughters also brought a used condom from the home as evidence. During the search, police found the same brand condom in a bedside drawer. 
But Pumphrey says having condoms isn't illegal and not unusual, "A married couple that doesn’t use birth control uses condoms. I haven’t seen any evidence involving a condom that indicates anything otherwise.”
Pumphrey claims details in the case are being twisted.
“I talked to people in the community who swore under oath that I placed in a court file this morning, that they’ve been around them and the children at length. One lady for over 60 years she’s known the Ceska family since before Mr. Ceska was born. Nothing," Pumphrey states.
Doyle Donnell attended the most recent hearing. He’s lived next to Mr. Ceska for more than 30 years. Doyle says when he heard the accusations against his neighbor he was shocked.
“I don’t believe it. But nowadays you never can tell about things," said Donnel. "[I was] floored to hear the allegations. Because they were such a knit family doing things together, working together. And they were happy and they’d always come over and wave to me.”
Donnell says the family was what he calls “different”. Mirko is from Belgium and speaks German. He moved to Wakulla in the late ’80s and Donnell thinks that explains the difference in the girl’s upbringing.
“I just thought he was teaching them a way about their culture. And the people talked ‘bout the way they dressed and talking ‘bout they weren’t friendly. They were friendly, they dressed like you and I. If they’re out there in the field they ain’t gone have no nice clothes. They gone have on corduroys or pants.”
But what took place in the house remains at question. During the search of the Ceska home police found a homemade video of the family during Christmas, where the girls were given what police describe as provocative undergarments and another where Mirko and the girls are in their underwear and he is yelling at them about eating food. Officials also found letters written by the young women about wanting to leave the home. But Ceska’s attorney Don Pumphrey maintains none of it is illegal.
“What’s funny is they’re taking common things and making stories that make it sound like something bad like it’s a compound. These people have regular homes, they mow the grass, there’s nothing strange they have cattle. They work hard"
For now, both Mirko and his wife Regina will be going back to their home, on court supervision until their next trial date. They can’t leave the district or go within 500 ft. of the victims. Mirko Ceska is facing three felony charges, two for sexual assault on a minor the other for aggravated battery, and a misdemeanor battery charge. Regina Ceska is facing two felony charges one for failure to report abuse, the other for neglecting a disabled adult.