An Italian pharmaceutical manager drugged and raped young female job applicants and held them hostage for weeks in his ‘house of horrors’, a court has heard.
Antonio di Fazio, 50, is on trial in Milan after six women came forward with allegations of horrific sexual abuse which led to his arrest on Friday.
The drugs manager kept one girl locked up in his luxury apartment on Via Tamburini for two months, police said.
Antonio di Fazio (pictured) drugged and raped young female job applicants and held them hostage for weeks in his ‘house of horrors’, a court has heard
The students in their twenties and thirties responded to job adverts for an internship or apprenticeship at Fazio’s pharmaceutical firm Global Farma.
But instead of a formal interview, the applicants were drugged with tranquiliser which he slipped into their drinks.
He then stripped the young women naked, raped them and photographed their naked bodies, the court heard.
They were then held captive and there arms and legs were tied up by Fazio and his ‘network’ in a ‘house of horrors’, prosecutors claim.
One woman has claimed she was locked inside the Milan apartment for four weeks.
The young women said they had not reported the alleged abuse until now because they were ‘afraid’ after Fazio reportedly ‘threatened’ them, reports la Repubblica.
Investigations are underway into his potential accomplices.
Prosecutors claim Fazio would lure the young women into his ‘trap’ by offering fake internships and job offers at Global Farma, of which Fazio is the founder and CEO.
He would then allegedly have his accomplices help him select the women he wanted to abuse.
Police said they found 54 photos on his Samsung phone of other women, and more on other electronic devices, suggesting there are more victims.
The pharmaceutical boss is on trial in Milan after six women came forward with allegations of horrific sexual abuse which led to his arrest on Friday
There are also images prosecutors are trying to decrypt after they had been deleted.
The photos on the phone had been taken from October 2020 up until his arrest and show ‘women in a state of unconsciousness, semi-naked or in explicit sexual attitudes,’ investigating judge Chiara Valori said in the arrest order.
Analysis of the photographs also suggest that the alleged abuse dates back several years.
The manager was first arrested for allegedly raping and then photographing a 21-year-old student who had met him to be interviewed for a training internship which turned out to be fake.
After the pair had gone to the offices of Global Farma, Fazio lured the women to his apartment with the promise of a meeting with important international managers and clients.
‘I felt uneasy about that sudden and unmotivated change of program,’ the woman told police, reports la Repubblica. But she decided decided to trust him.
When the pair arrived at the apartment, there were no international managers nor clients.
Fazio allegedly offered the women pastries and a coffee filled with tranquiliser.
‘When I drank coffee, I immediately felt weak and confused,’ she told investigators. ‘My vision became blurred, I heard confused sounds, I lost strength, a sensation I had never felt before.’
She thought she had low blood sugar so had asked for something to drink and Fazio gave her orange – but this also allegedly contained bromazepam, a sedative drug.
After sipping the drink, she fainted but awoke in the middle of the night where she remembers eating sushi and Fazio was uncomfortably close to her.
She claims he took her home at around midnight after she asked to leave and woke up the next day. The woman filed a complaint with the police and went to hospital for tests where medics found bromazepam in her blood.
It is alleged Fazio’s mother and 12-year-old son were in the luxury apartment at the time.
Fazio’s ex-wife made allegations of abuse 10 years ago and prosecutors believe he may have carried out his attacks for years.
The former couple, who have been separated since 2012, are currently going through a custody battle over their children.
Prosecutors are now investigating the alleged abuse of his ex-wife and claim that Fazio had already started his ‘scheme’ of abuse involving drugs and violence, against his former partner.
Fazio and his sister Maria Rosa Di Fazio, an oncologist, are said to have claimed the 21-year-old woman had lied about the alleged abuse to extort their family.
Ms Fazio claims the woman’s parents had asked her and Fazio for 500,000 euros after they faced economic troubles. She also claims the woman had asked for money.
But the alleged victim has said Ms Fazio sent a message to her in the days before her alleged abuse to set up the meeting with Fazio. The text read: ‘Hello, how are you? Call Anto who will show you the company as we agreed, right?’
Fazio’s lawyer Rocco Romellano, said, according to Ansa: ‘He’s very confused and worn out, he isn’t well, I’ve always known him to be a cordial, honest and calm person, but I cannot know if he had a double life, nothing like that has come out.’
In the last ten years, Fazio has built up a luxurious lifestyle with sports cars, boats and expensive holidays.
He set up Global Pharmaceuticals in April 2020 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and has since brought in over six million euros.