German woman held as 'sex slave' in US
DPA/The Local · 13 Jun 2014, 11:53
Published: 13 Jun 2014 11:53 GMT+02:00
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According to a police report, the woman who is from Konradsreuth in northern Bavria, met Robert Whiteside, a 45-year old man from Raleigh, North Carolina, on a dating website.
Just over a week ago, the woman flew to the US to meet Whiteside. On arrival he allegedly took her mobile phone, money, credit cards and passport. He threatened to kill her and never let her out of his sight, the Raleigh News and Observer reported on Tuesday.
"I think she probably came here willingly, but with the idea she's coming to America and she's met this nice guy on the internet," police chief Tim Hayworth said at a press conference on Tuesday.
"Then when she got here, things were not as rosy as depicted online."
Whiteside allegedly locked the 34-year-old woman in a warehouse in the small town Zebulon, where he worked as a furniture restorer.
According to the public prosecutor's office, he sexually abused his victim for almost a week and also attempted to strangle her several times, while keeping her locked in the warehouse for five days.
At some point of her ordeal she was able to email her ex-husband in Germany, who then alerted the police in the US.
“I never knew there was a woman being hidden in the building,” said Nick Tabron a worker at the sight where she was held captive. “I work here every day. It's crazy,” he told reporters.
The 45-year-old man was charged with sexual servitude involving an adult victim and assault by strangulation.
Whiteside denied the charges before the court on Tuesday. “I don't have a record for this type of thing. All I do is work. I have my own business. I work," he told the court.
Police are now trying to find out if there have been any other victims of the man.
The woman used to work in a petrol station in the town of Hof in northern Bavaria.