Car dealer in court for trafficking

A car salesman has been charged with raping, trafficking and controlling the prostitution of three vulnerable young women.

James McCormack was also accused of aiding and abetting the gang rape of two of the women and paying them all for sexual services.

The 68-year-old allegedly committed the offenses for four years.

In total, McCormack faces 17 counts, including human trafficking for sexual exploitation, forcible confinement, supplying heroin and administering a noxious substance to facilitate kidnappings and sexual activity.

McCormack, of Barnfield Road in Lisburn, appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court today via video link from police custody.

A constable said he could link the accused to each of the charges and explained why the PSNI opposed bail.

Along with fears of further offenses and the risk of intimidation of witnesses, the officer noted that the alleged victims were vulnerable young women who were paid heroin for sexual services.

The court was told while the 17 charges related to three women, police identified “other potential victims” they have not yet spoken to.

A defense attorney argued that with a strict set of conditions, McCormack could be released on bail.

The lawyer said the PSNI had been holding the alleged victims “for months”, but had only recently decided to arrest his client.

Denying McCormack bail, the judge backed concerns about possible new offences.

The case has been adjourned until the end of this month.

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