Author charged in sex slave case

May 18, 2009 9:43:26 PM PDT
A well-respected author is accused of luring a pair of women to his home and forcing them to become his sex slaves. Joseph Yannai, 65, of Pound Ridge, New York was arraigned on charges of sex abuse and labor trafficking.

The victim is a twenty-one-year-old Hungarian citizen who sought employment in the United States through a website for au pairs, investigators said. She pursued an email regarding a job as a personal assistant for a 64-year-old businessman.

Over the course of several weeks, the victim said she was told of two employment options -- a live out option involving payment of $2,000 a month or a live-in option where all her expenses would be paid and she would receive a $20,000 bonus at the end of the year.

On February 18th, she arrived at Yannai's home at 309 Salem Road, investigators said.

The victim said she was advised that her personal phone calls and emails would be limited. She was not provided any spending money or access to transportation, she said.

Prosecutors said a Brazilian national who had been working at the location for a period of time was also at the house.

After about a week, investigators said the real rules of the house were revealed. Yannai allegedly threatened and coerced the women to perform sexual favors.

The victim also said she saw photos of Yannai with numerous other women and learned that there had been six or seven other girls from various other countries who had worked in his Pound Ridge residence.

Prior to leaving Hungary, the victim had established email contact with another Hungarian national who resides in Pound Ridge. In early March, She managed to contact that person for help in escaping. Once out of the house, she then went to the Pound Ridge Police Department for help.

An investigation led to Yannai's arrest. Bail was set at $100,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 22nd, 2009.

Yannai is the author of "The International Who's Who of Chefs 2004-2005."

He faces a maximum of seven years in state prison if convicted.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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