SYDNEY - A Dutch tourist was raped more than 60 times and tortured with a meat tenderiser and gas torch during a brutal six-week ordeal in Australia, a court heard.
The 21-year-old was allegedly abducted and kept prisoner in a Melbourne hotel in November and December last year, according to media reports of Friday's hearing into the case at Melbourne Magistrates Court.
Alfio Anthony Granata, 46, and Jennifer Peaston, 32, face 179 charges each, including detaining the woman against her will, multiple threats to kill her, 62 counts of rape and 85 of assault.
According to court documents cited by Australian media, the tourist was abducted after meeting the couple at a party and held at the Rydges Preston hotel where she was allegedly sexually assaulted, beaten, tortured and threatened with murder if she attempted to escape.
"She lived in fear of beatings if she upset the accused in any way," a police summary of the case said, according to the Herald Sun newspaper.
"(Her) mental state deteriorated as a result of the abuse."
The pair are accused of attacking the woman with objects including a rolling pin, meat tenderiser, vacuum cleaner and a gas torch lighter in a pattern of escalating attacks that culminated in her stabbing Granata on Christmas Day as he slept and then attempting to kill herself.
The pair panicked and called emergency services, bringing an end to the six-week ordeal, in which she was allegedly forced to smoke drugs and was often left after beatings to sleep naked on the wet shower floor, according to police.
Police told the court that Granata had shot extensive video footage of the attacks - some 450 hours - and it had taken officers six months to sift through it all. Chains, blindfolds and sex toys were also seized from the hotel room.
The woman told police that Granata claimed to have been possessed by a demon and told her she was "marked for death".
In a bizarre Christmas Eve ritual, she said Granata sealed her photograph, fingernail and hair clippings and blood in an envelope and poured hot wax over her body.
Granata and Peaston were remanded in custody to appear in court on August 30.