‘Sex slave pimp’ who branded young women with tattoos identifying them as his ‘property’ is charged with disfiguring and maiming them – while his two female ‘helpers’ remain on bail
- Matthew James Markcrow is accused of keeping women for sexual servitude
- He was initially charged with ten offences and has now been given 13 more
- A total of nine alleged victims aged between 17-24 have so far contacted police
- His two co-accused, 23-year-old women, have had their bail extended in court
- There were previous concerns they could run the ring in Markcrow’s absence
Two women accused of running a prostitution ring with a man who allegedly kept sex slaves and ‘branded’ them with tattoos to mark them as his property will remain on bail despite facing serious federal charges.
Hannah Christina Stead, 23, and Crystal Anne Sawyers, also 23, are accused of assisting 35-year-old Matthew James Markcrow run an illegal prostitution business.
Police allege they helped Markcrow in recruiting and keeping sex slaves, forcing up to nine young women into prostitution and plying them with drugs.
Markcrow was arrested on February 4 and remains in custody, but prosecutors have previously raised concerns his co-offenders could keep the alleged prostitution ring in operation in his absence, given they remain on bail.
He was hit with 13 new state and federal charges on Tuesday which were addressed in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
Among his new charges are five counts of committing acts intended to maim or disfigure his alleged victims.
Matthew James Markcrow, 35, was hit with 13 new state and federal charges on Tuesday which were addressed in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday. Among his new charges are five counts of committing acts intended to maim or disfigure his alleged victims
A third accused, 23-year-old Hannah Christina Stead, also appeared in court on Wednesday charged with conducting business involving servitude and providing unlawful prostitution
At least eight women and one minor have accused Markcrow of pimping them out, while some claimed he tattooed his own name on their bodies to prove that he ‘owned them’.
Photographs show at least four examples of tattoos reading ‘property of Matt. M’ on the bodies of women claiming to be victims of Markcrow’s prostitution ring.
A magistrate explained Markcrow is facing charges both at a state and federal level and scheduled a committal callover.
He is facing a total of 23 charges, including six counts of keeping women for sexual servitude, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years’ jail.
Markcrow is also facing two counts of supplying dangerous drugs and running a business of unlawful prostitution.
Police allege women aged between 17 and 24 were kept in conditions of servitude of unlawful prostitution, given stupefying drugs, and subjected to controlled living, financial and work conditions.
Detectives believe Markcrow and Sawyer, his younger girlfriend, recruited the alleged victims via social media.
Police allege women aged between 17 and 24 were kept in conditions of servitude of unlawful prostitution, given stupefying drugs, and subjected to controlled living, financial and work conditions as well as being tattooed
Markcrow is also accused of filming victims while engaged in sexual acts or without their clothing on.
Sawyer was arrested and charged with running the illegal prostitution business on the same day as Markcrow.
But the 23-year-old was granted bail provided she not go within 100 metres of the house where the alleged prostitution took place.
She must also report to police twice weekly, and not contact certain people including Markcrow.
On Wednesday, a magistrate extended her bail, despite earlier concerns she would continue to run the alleged prostitution operation in Markcrow’s absence.
Stead also appeared in court on Wednesday charged with conducting business involving servitude and providing unlawful prostitution.
Her bail was enlarged to reappear in court on March 15.
Co-accused Crystal Sawyer is pictured leaving Brisbane watchhouse earlier this month
Markcrow remains in custody after he was hit with 13 new charges – including servitude and maiming or disfiguring his victims