Man Forced His New Egyptian Wife Into Prostitution

Geesche Jacobsen

A MAN has been accused of forcing his new Egyptian wife to work in a brothel so he could buy a flat, before sending her back home empty-handed.

When the man, FS, brought his bride to Sydney in July 2000 after an arranged marriage in Cairo, he told her she would help him pay back money for her visa, a jury has been told.

The woman, now 27, has told the District Court that soon after she arrived he took her to the Hideaway Brothel in Banksia.

"You're going to stay here and you're going to do whatever they ask you," he had told her.

She said she did not speak any English and did not understand what was happening. She objected but she said he told her he knew members of the Mafia, so she was frightened.

FS is charged with procuring his wife as a prostitute and keeping her in sexual servitude.

When she got pregnant, FS allegedly forced her to have an abortion, and she was told to go back to work at the brothel after a few weeks. She also told the court, through an interpreter, he had insulted and hit her on several occasions.

The woman told the court she worked at the brothel for nearly two years, making about $3000 a week, all of which she handed to her husband. She also said he kept her passport.

"He told me that we should have our own unit."

After about a year, FS, who earned less than $13 an hour, bought a unit in Lakemba with a $40,000 deposit, and paid off another $15,000 within a month, Crown prosecutor Brian Rowe said. There was also evidence that about $200,000 was transferred to FS's relatives in Egypt.

In mid-2002, the couple returned to Egypt. FS had allegedly told his wife to leave her clothes and jewellery at their Sydney home. She said he abandoned her in Cairo without luggage or money and later told her family that she stole from him.

She denied suggestions by FS's lawyer, James Fliece, that she had worked in the brothel on her own account and that the marriage was a sham. "Your religion and cultural background didn't require you to obey your husband if he asked you to work as a prostitute, correct?" he asked.

The woman replied: "Yes."

She denied knowing her visa was cancelled shortly before they returned to Egypt, after FS reported her to the Department of Immigration for working as a prostitute. She agreed a migration agent had told her she would be able to stay in Australia if she said she was the victim of domestic violence. The trial continues.

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