An Italian man imprisoned a Romanian woman in a sex dungeon for a decade where she was tortured, raped, and forced to give birth to two of his children, police say.
Aloisio Francesco Rosario Giordano, 52, was arrested at the weekend and accused of kidnapping the 29-year-old woman before carrying out a sick campaign of abuse.
Incredibly it is not the first time Giordano has been accused of such crimes, as he was jailed in 1995 for kidnapping, raping and torturing another woman.
On that occasion he was locked up for just five years and released early in 1999 for good behaviour.
After regaining his freedom returned home to care for his terminally ill wife and two children, recruiting the help of a then-19-year-old Romanian who would become his second victim.
When his wife died, police say, Giordano offered the carer support and a place to stay — before locking her in a basement under a shed.
There she spent the next 10 years chained to a metal bar in a filthy, rat and insect-infested room without running water or electricity.
All the while she was beaten, tortured, and repeatedly raped, she said.
During that time she gave birth to two children by Giordano, a boy now aged 9 and a girl now aged 3.
The children were forced to watch as Giordano abused their mother, police said, and the young boy was made to participate in torturing her — or face a beating himself.
Police footage of where the woman was held show a dark and filthy basement made of corrugated iron, wood and cardboard boxes.
The toilet is a plastic bucket underneath a wooden chair. The woman, with her two children, had to sleep on beds made of cardboard.
Next to the bed is a metal bar that the woman was constantly chained to.
The police found wounds all over her body, many of which were "treated" by Giordano himself.
Officers said he tried to close some of the deeper wounds with fishing wire.
All of this took place in the tiny village of Gizzeria, in southern Italy, but went entirely unnoticed until police discovered the house of horrors by accident.
Police picked up Giordano up during a routine traffic stop because of the bad condition of his vehicle, and noticed the 9-year-old boy in his back seat.
The dishevelled appearance of the boy, who was described as dirty and malnourished, raised their suspicions and they demanded to see Giordano's home and speak with the boy's mother.
When they arrived they discovered the woman, who was also filthy, holding a second malnourished child and decided to investigate.
And they discovered the conditions she had been kept in.
The woman told police she hadn't had any contact with the outside world and that she hasn't washed herself for a year.
She has now been taken to a secret location with her children, and is not being named for her protection.
Giordano was arrested on charges of aggravated sexual abuse and mistreatment.
In 1995 Giordano was arrested in a shockingly similar case when he kidnapped, tortured and repeatedly raped 23-year-old Maria Rosa.
According to newspaper articles from the time he held Rosa hostage in similar conditions, and also made her pregnant twice.
But on that occasion he aborted the children himself — the first by kicking her in the stomach and the second time using rudimentary scalpel and a spoon.
After the arrest in 1995, the police found the scalpel used in the second abortion and a wooden stick with which he apparently sodomised Rosa.
The Italian case has disturbing similarities to the case of Josef Fritzl, who held his own daughter Elisabeth Fritzl (born 6 April 1966) captive for 24 years in a hidden area of the basement in the family home in Austria.
Fritzl assaulted and raped her numerous times.
She gave birth to seven children, three of whom remained in captivity with their mother, one who died just days after birth, and the other three were brought up by Fritzl and his wife, Rosemarie. Elisabeth was found in 2008 after the older daughter became ill and Fritzl sought medical help.
He was jailed for life in 2009.