An appeals court in Stavanger sentenced a 46-year-old Norwegian man to seven-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday, for engaging in human trafficking and the sexual assault of two women from the Philippines who were brought to Norway as au pair. He continues to deny guilt.
His sentence is in line with that demanded by prosecutors in the appeals court known as Gulating lagmannsrett, where the case has been tried. Prosecutors argued that especially for the younger of the two women, now aged 24 and 25, the case bore signs of sexual slavery.
The case is the latest in a string of sexual assault and work exploitation of au pair from the Philippines, who are supposed to be coming to Norway as part of a cultural exchange in which they also care for children and can earn money. Instead, an alarming number have been exploited, forced to work as domestic servants and assaulted.
Website RA reported that the women were both 22 when they arrived in Norway in 2010 and 2011 respectively to work in the West Coast home of the man’s family with two children. A lower court had determined that the women came from poor backgrounds, and that the man exploited their situation to demand sex with them.
The lower court had already convicted the man for a series of rapes and attempted rapes of the younger woman, and pressured the older woman to have sex with him as well.
The man has defended himself by claiming that the women have made incorrect statements in court because they want to obtain permanent residence permission in Norway. He appealed his first conviction and is eligible to appeal Wednesday’s verdict as well.
The court also ordered him to pay NOK 200,000 (around USD 33,000) in damages to the woman he’s convicted of raping several times.