A man allegedly kept multiple women as sex slaves and branded them with tattoos marking them as property.
Matthew James Markcrow, 35, and his girlfriend Crystal Marie Sawyer, 23, face a raft of charges after police carried out raids at properties in Brisbane, Australia, this week.
Officers claim a number of women, aged between 17-24, were given drugs, tattooed, and forced into “sexual servitude and organised prostitution”.
They claim to have found drugs and footage of sexual acts.
The alleged victims had to live under controlled financial and work conditions, the NCA Newswire reports.
On Facebook, Markcrow posted pictures of tattoos that read “Property of Matt M”.
He allegedly wrote that he is their “boyfriends in the future” and that if he “had all the names it would look more like a scroll.”
The tattoos included a devil’s pitchfork and an angel halo.
Mackcrow allegedly found the women on Facebook and targeted “vulnerable” victims, the Australian Associated Press reports.
He exploited “the fact they’d had some issues within their family unit”, Detective Inspector Juliet Hancock said.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Hughes told Brisbane Arrests Court: “During the course of the search warrant Sawyer stated she was ‘like a mother’ to the other girls.
“Police observed other girls followed Sawyer’s leadership during the search … she demonstrated a degree of control over the other girls.”
Sgt Hughes claimed Sawyer told Markcrow that she would “take care of everything”.
Officers also claimed that she “exerted control” over the women.
However, defence lawyer Lily Berkeley told the court that there was no concrete evidence that she was involved in the business.
Sawyer was charged with two counts of contravening an order about electronic information and one count of conducting unlawful prostitution.
She was granted bail given a no-contact order with witnesses.
Markcrow faces 10 charges, including conducting unlawful prostitution, making recordings in breach of privacy and three counts of contravening an order about electronic information.
He was remanded in custody and is due in court again on February 24.
Det Insp Hancock added: “I’ve been a police officer for 30 years. I’ve not seen this type of offending before.
“It’s pretty hard to shock police. This is confronting.
“When you consider those aspects – vulnerable, young women being recruited, drugged, tattooed – that’s pretty confronting.
“I think a lot of people would think this is happening overseas. This has happened in Brisbane.”
Source: Read Full Article