Northern Ireland

Man charged with trafficking and sexually abusing woman

Belfast court complex
Image caption Alin Rotariu appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court on Thursday

A 38-year-old Romanian man accused of trafficking, imprisoning and sexually abusing a woman from Eastern Europe has appeared in court.

Alin Rotariu, from Larkstone Street, south Belfast, was arrested on Tuesday.

He faces a total of 10 charges which indicate the alleged offences began in 2015.

On Tuesday, police were informed that a woman was being assaulted outside a property in Larkstone Street just off the Lisburn Road.

The 36-year-old woman they found there is being assessed as a potential victim of human trafficking.

Mr Rotariu was subsequently arrested following police inquiries.

Appearing at Belfast Magistrates' Court on Thursday, he faced a number of charges including human trafficking, rape, false imprisonment, common assault, threats to kill and the possession of an offensive weapon with intent.

It is alleged Mr Rotariu arranged for the woman from Eastern Europe to travel to Northern Ireland in September 2015.

It was alleged that since then he had subjected her to sexual and physical abuse.

When asked if he understood the charges, the accused said "I know, I know", but his solicitor added that while his client was aware of the charges he disputes them all.

A police officer told the court he believed he could connect the accused to the charges.

Mr Rotariu is due to appear again before the court for a bail application on 5 May.

Police say their inquiries are continuing and support is being given to the alleged victim who is in secure accommodation.

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