Student accommodation at the University of Sussex was used as a brothel by an international prostitution ring, a court was told.
A Hungarian sex trafficking gang is accused of flying more than 50 young women into the UK and setting them up in hotels, student accommodation and residential housing across Sussex, then they advertised the girls for sex through an adult website. David Walbank, prosecuting, told how the five recruited young women, some as young as 18, from Hungary and arranged for them to fly to the UK.He added they also arranged pornographic shoots for the women, scheduled appointments with clients and negotiated on sexual services and prices.
As the trial opened yesterday Mr Walbank said: “This is a case about individual people, specifically the young Hungarian women who are the most obvious victims. “The overall history of what was done by these girls and to these girls is a series of individual human tragedies, the consequences of which will affect many of them for a lifetime.” He added that although just five defendants were on trial, the “scale” and “complexity” of the operation suggested many more were also involved.
The gang first came to the attention of police in 2011.
The court was told how the University of Sussex’s building manager, Martin West, was alerted to an email advertising escorts in Park Village on the Falmer campus. In one of the semi-naked profiles he recognised the distinct campus curtains and bedding a prostitute was sprawled across.
The trial is listed to last for eight weeks.
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