Man charged over London "slave" women allegations

Man charged over London "slave" women allegations

LONDON - A man has been accused of 25 offences including cruelty to a child, false imprisonment and rape, police and prosecutors said on Thursday, over the case of three women allegedly held as slaves for 30 years in a south London house.

Aravindan Balakrishnan, 74, was charged with 19 counts of indecent assault, four counts of rape as well as cruelty to a person under 16 and false imprisonment, with the offences, which related to three women, dating back to 1980, police said.

The case made headlines when Balakrishnan and his wife were arrested in November last year amid police suggestions it involved allegations of the worst case of servitude and false labour to have emerged in the British capital.

Police said three women, then aged 69, 57 and 30, had been living in the house as part of a political "collective".

"After careful consideration we have decided that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest," Anthony Connell, senior prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service, said in a statement.

He said there was insufficient evidence to charge his wife with any crimes. Balakrishnan will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court next Wednesday.

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