A man accused of forcing a woman into unpaid prostitution who was arrested at a Bunnings warehouse by Australian Federal Police will face court over a raft of sexual slavery offences.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough said the man in question, James Robert Davis, 40, was facing allegations he subjected the woman to "very, very severe physical, sexual and psychological abuse on a daily basis".

The charges relate to the manipulation of the alleged victim between 2012 to 2015 at a property in the Sydney beachside suburb of Maroubra.

Mr Davis, from Yarrowyck, was arrested by plain-clothed AFP tactical members on Thursday outside an Armidale Bunnings warehouse and taken to Armidale police station. He will face court on Wednesday.

James Davis being arrested by plain-clothed AFP at Armidale Bunnings. Picture: AFP
James Davis being arrested by plain-clothed AFP at Armidale Bunnings. Picture: AFP

He was charged with reducing a person to slavery, intentionally possessing a slave and causing a person to enter or remain in servitude.

According to Ms Gough, police will allege in court the woman who came forward was made to sign a "slavery contract" and forced to work as a prostitute.

"(Police will allege) she was forced into prostitution with no pay; she was threatened with physical abuse and threats of death if she left that circumstance," she said.

"She was under slave-like conditions … (forced to wear) a slave collar and (have) a slave tattoo."

AFP human trafficking investigators have also been assessing allegations of potential sexual servitude offences by the man under Operation Saintes.

One of the items seized in the AFP raid. Picture: AFP
One of the items seized in the AFP raid. Picture: AFP

Mr Davis, a former member of the Australian Defence Force, referred to himself as the patriarch of a group known as "The House of Cadifor".

He documented his polyamorous relationships widely on social media.

He spoke of his dreams of having a reality-style TV show based on life inside The House of Cadifor.

More than 50 AFP investigators and forensics specialists last week searched Mr Davis's property about 30km from Armidale.

The 4WD Mr Davis was driving when he was arrested at Bunnings. Picture: AFP
The 4WD Mr Davis was driving when he was arrested at Bunnings. Picture: AFP

Police seized documents, phones, cameras and computers, which will be subject to forensic analysis.

Slavery offences carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in jail if convicted, while servitude offences carry a maximum 15-year term or 20 years for aggravated offences.

Mr Davis appeared in Armidale Local Court on Friday and did not apply for bail. He was remanded in custody.

The charges to date relate to one alleged victim. Investigations remain ongoing, and AFP officers have not ruled out charges relating to further potential victims.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the AFP.

Originally published as Man nabbed at Bunnings over 'sex slave'


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