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Australian Man Charged With Running A Sex Cult And Using Women As Slaves

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Australian Man Charged With Running A Sex Cult And Using Women As Slaves

A man has been arrested outside a Bunnings in Armidale, NSW, and charged with slavery and servitude offences.

Police allege the 40-year-old ran a sex slave 'cult' on a rural property for years.

James Robert Davis, 40, is facing three charges including reducing a person to slavery, possessing a slave and causing a person to enter into or remain in servitude.

Police say the man - who was referred to in the alleged cult as the 'patriarch' - allegedly forced women to sign 'slavery contracts' before subjecting them to physical, sexual and psychological abuse.

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Credit: AFP
Credit: AFP

The AFP's Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough alleged Davis manipulated one victim between 2012 and 2015 as a part of his 'cult'.

Gough said the woman was 'coerced, manipulated and threatened to be involved in a bondage lifestyle'.

"She was in slave-like conditions," she said. "There were aspects of possession, a slavery contract and there were aspects of a slave collar and a slave tattoo.

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"She was threatened with physical abuse and threats of death if she left that circumstance."

"We want the public to be aware that human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices are happening here in Australia, all too often without anyone in the community knowing," she said.

"Our hope is for every case we investigate, it helps others experiencing similar conditions to speak up and seek our help."

Credit: AFP
Credit: AFP
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According to ABC, Davis had been living with six women he called his 'slaves' in the rural property in regional New South Wales.

"During the search, a number of documents, phones, camera, computers and other material was seized and that material is undergoing forensic analysis," Gough said.

"For those people who do know something about this particular case, whether they are victims, witnesses or have information, we encourage members of the community to report to the AFP.

"I do hope that more complainants do come forward in relation to this matter. There is concern that these are offences that do take place in plain sight."

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The property where the 'cult' lived. Credit: AFP
The property where the 'cult' lived. Credit: AFP

Davis' former partner Felicity previously opened up to the ABC's Four Corners about the years of extreme physical violence and sexual abuse she had suffered throughout their relationship.

"I've hidden it and been ashamed of it for so long," she told the programme.

"He's taken away all my rights as a person and my ability to live on my own. I was afraid he was going to kill me.

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"I always have thought about how those other girls feel and when you're in that position, all your power is taken away from you. It's really hard to get out.

"There is no other description, I think, that you could come up with that describes what he's got now [other than] as a cult."

Davis is due in Armidale Local Court on Wednesday.

Featured Image Credit: Supplied

Topics: Cult, Australia

Jessica Lynch
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