Landlord facing "sex for rent" allegations appears in court in first case of its kind
This is believed to be the first case of its kind to be brought to court in England and Wales
A landlord accused of offering housing to young or homeless women in exchange for sex has appeared in court in what is believed to be the first case of its kind to take place in England and Wales.
52-year-old Christopher Cox from Cranleigh, Surrey, appeared via video link at Staines Magistrates' Court on Wednesday charged with two counts of inciting prostitution for gain and one count of controlling prostitution for gain.
He allegedly posted adverts on classified website looking for women to stay at his home with him. Prospective tenants were then allegedly asked to send photos of themselves to him as well as being asked that they wear bikinis and provide sexual services in exchange for a room.
The charges date back to between May 2018 and November 2018 and, according to The Independent, were passed to Surrey police the following year after an investigation by ITV researchers. The force then identified a complainant who alleged they entered into a "sex for rent" arrangement with Mr Cox.
The charges are believed to be the first to be brought in England and Wales over a case in which housing is provided in exchange for sexual acts.
Mr Cox gave no indication of pleas to two charges of inciting prostitution for gain between August 21 and September 6, 2018, and November 4 and 7, 2018. He issued a not guilty indication to a count of controlling prostitution for gain between May 17 and June 27, 2018.
The case has been sent to Guildford Crown Court by District Judge Julie Cooper, where a hearing will take place on March 25. Mr Cox has been granted unconditional bail ahead of the hearing.