Wild moment an accused ‘sex slave madam’ lashes out at photographers outside court after allegedly helping her boyfriend run a sick pr
Wild moment an accused ‘sex slave madam’ lashes out at photographers outside court after allegedly helping her boyfriend run a sick prostitution ring
- Matthew James Markcrow, 35, was arrested on Thursday on multiple charges
- Co-accused Crystal Sawyer, 23, also arrested in police raids in south Brisbane
- The pair accused of exploiting vulnerable young women into unpaid prostitution
- Sawyer lashed out at a photographer while leaving court on Friday afternoon
A woman who allegedly helped her boyfriend run an illegal prostitution ring has been caught lashing out at a photographer after leaving court.
After a tip-off by a member of the public, Matthew James Markcrow, 35, and Crystal Marie Sawyer, 23, were arrested in a police raid on a townhouse in Brisbane’s south on Thursday.
At least four women aged between 17 and 24 were allegedly drugged, tattooed, filmed and exploited into unpaid prostitution in what was described as a ‘particularly sinister’ case.
Sawyer was charged with conducting a business of unlawful prostitution along with contravene a police order for failing to provide cops with the passwords to her phone and laptop.
After being granted bail on Friday, she was seen fleeing from the courthouse until she was confronted by a photographer.
Sawyer, who was wearing bright orange exercise tights, is then seen sprinting towards the photographer demanding he stop taking her picture before tripping and hitting the ground.
She then storms off claiming the snapper did not have ‘permission’ to take her photo.
‘Don’t take my f**king photo! You didn’t ask for my permission!’ she is heard saying.
Her boyfriend, Markcrow has been charged with conducting a business involving servitude, making recordings in breach of privacy, and conducting a business of unlawful prostitution.
He also allegedly tattooed the women with the phrase ‘property of Matt’.
Matthew Markcrow (pictured) has been charged with multiple offences after police allege he targeted vulnerable young women and forced them into unpaid prostitution
Police allege his co-accused Sawyer acted as the ‘senior girl’ in the house where the group were living with the other women following her lead.
‘[A] community member [informed police] that at least four young women had [allegedly] been recruited, provided with drugs and illegally prostituted against their own will,’ Prostitution Enforcement Taskforce Detective Inspector Juliet Hancock said.
The two accused along with three young women were found at the house by officers conducting the raid, The Courier Mail reported.
Police said the young women had been from dysfunctional homes and had been targeted through social media by the pair.
Sawyer (pictured) is also charged with running the illegal prostitution business in which the women were treated as ‘slaves’, police allege
The business allegedly operated by transporting the women to an inner-city apartment from suburban Brisbane where they were forced to work before being driven back.
Police claim the young women were not paid for the work and were financially dependent on the accused.
‘It would be, I think fair to say, some of these women (allegedly) don’t understand they’ve been exploited,’ Det Insp Hancock said.
A post by Markcrow showing four women with the same tattoo ‘property of Matt M.’ (pictured)
Markcrow did not apply for bail at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday and was remanded in custody – making a heart shape with his hands to a young woman at the back of the court as he was led away.
Under Sawyer’s bail conditions she is not to go within 100 metres of the house, must report to police twice weekly, and must not contact certain people including Markcrow.
She had previously been found guilty of engaging in prostitution through unlawful prostitution business, the court heard as reported by the publication.
She was fined $1,200 and was spared a conviction.
Crystal Sawyer is pictured leaving Brisbane watchhouse on Friday afternoon
A police prosecutor said Sawyer told officers ‘she was like a mother’ to the other girls in the house – and they observed she appeared to have a ‘degree of control’ over the women who followed her lead.
The court also heard when she spotted Markcrow in the police holding cells she yelled she would ‘take care of everything for you’.
Investigations are ongoing with police suspecting there could be more victims and ask for anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.
Both Markcrow and Sawyer’s matters are adjourned until February 24.