A couple, who lured an 18-year-old woman to Britain with promises of a babysitting job but then raped her and forced her into prostitution, have been jailed.
Marius Ciubotariu, 31, and 26-year-old wife Andreea, of Magnolia Court, The Mall, Harrow, both pleaded not guilty but were convicted at Harrow Crown Court on Wednesday (April 8).
On Friday (April 10), Marius was sentenced to 15 years behind bars for rape, human trafficking and controlling prostitution.
Andreea was handed a nine-year prison term for aiding and abetting rape, human trafficking and controlling prostitution.
In summer 2013, Andreea went back to her native village in Romania and asked the victim to come and work for her in London.
Several months later, the victim agreed and Andreea arranged her coach travel to London, the court heard.
The victim arrived on December 29, 2013, where she was met by Marius. He drove her to a hotel in an unknown location and raped her, the court was told.
The next day, he took her to his home address where he repeatedly raped her for several days - on one occasion, in his car.
Within two weeks, Marius told her she had to work as a prostitute and took her to several brothels where she was forced to have sex with men.
She was allowed to keep her phone but Ciubotariu said he was working with the police and no one would help her if she reported the situation, the court heard.
However, the victim eventually took the brave step of contacting her uncle, via Facebook, on her phone. He contacted a friend in the UK, who in turn passed the victim's details onto his friend.
This man arranged to meet the victim and she sheltered at his house for over a week and arranged for her to meet a woman from a local church who could speak Romanian.
The victim told the woman what had happened to her and the woman encouraged her to report the offences to police.
The Trafficking and Kidnap Unit began investigating and arrested the Ciubotarius in January 2014.
Detective Constable Richard Hart, of the Trafficking and Kidnap Unit, said: "The Ciubotarius lured the victim to the UK with promises of a babysitting job, but they had plotted all along to use and abuse her.
"This innocent young woman who was looking for a job opportunity has had her life ruined but I hope that she will find some small comfort in knowing that her abusers are now behind bars."