Brothel operator faces fresh rape charges as more alleged victims come forward
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Brothel operator faces fresh rape charges as more alleged victims come forward

A brothel operator and alleged human trafficker is accused of masquerading as a woman before encouraging a woman in an online chat to come to Australia to work as an escort.

Bradley Lester Grey, 53,allegedly helped the woman come to Australia on a holiday visa and paid for her flights before "training" her in sex work, taking her passport and forcing her into work at a Canberra brothel.

Bradley Lester Grey, 53, who is accused of human trafficking, is walked into City Police Station on Wednesday.

Bradley Lester Grey, 53, who is accused of human trafficking, is walked into City Police Station on Wednesday.

Photo: Alexandra Back

On Thursday, Mr Grey appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court for a second time, where he was charged with further rape and act of indecency charges against a further two alleged victims, as well as a charge of discouraging the use of prophylactics. ACT law makes it illegal for brothel operators to discourage sex workers from using condoms.

He has not entered pleas.

Both territory and federal prosecutors on Thursday flagged further charges against Mr Grey after more alleged victims had come forward. The court heard the women were located across Australia and police were in the process of collecting statements.

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Allegations against Mr Grey in relation to the first alleged victim were tendered in court documents after he was arrested at a Sydney brothel and then extradited to Canberra last month.

The documents describe Mr Grey allegedly adopting a female persona online and then suggesting to the woman that she try escorting in Australia, saying it was a "great lifestyle" with "great pay". While pretending to be a woman, Mr Grey gives the prospective escort his own email address and advice to get in contact. He later allegedly told the woman that his business offered the "girlfriend experience" that was mostly kissing, hugs and "a little bit of intercourse".

When she arrived in late December 2015, Mr Grey picked her up from the airport. He allegedly told her to dress in lingerie and arranged for her photo to be taken in various poses, and then allegedly subjected her to a "training session" with himself that later became the subject of rape charges. He later told the woman she would have to pay back more than half of the cost of her travel.

On one occasion, the woman left the brothel alone to explore her new city and get something to eat. She returned to an agitated Mr Grey who allegedly threatened to expose her lifestyle if she tried to leave without paying him back.

Another time, the documents suggest, the man said words to the effect of: "This is the only safe place for you, if you try and do work anywhere else there's drugs, you're going to get raped, they're all run by bikies, they just go in and f—k whatever girl they want. I am the only person that cares about you."

When Sex Worker Outreach Project representatives visited the brothel for the purpose of educating and training the workers, it's alleged Mr Grey warned the workers to be careful what they said.

Mr Grey now faces a total of four counts of rape and two of an act of indecency, human trafficking, affray, forced labour and allowing a non-citizen to work, as well as the discourage prophylactics charge.

He is next due in court on April 12.

Alexandra Back is a reporter with The Canberra Times

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