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Company director ‘held and raped online date in torture chamber cellar’

A married company director has been arrested on suspicion of abducting, imprisoning and repeatedly raping a woman he met online in a ten-day ordeal.

Sergei Sveshnikov, 39, was held for questioning after Elizaveta Babikova, 23, was found handcuffed in the ‘torture chamber’ cellar of his lockup garage.

She had been missing since agreeing to accompany him to a restaurant in the Russian city Nizhny Novgorod on August 24 after meeting him on an online dating site.

Separately, Sveshnikov had been reported missing by his wife Liliya, who is now “traumatised” by her husband’s arrest.

The father of her two children is said to have left home as usual in his Mercedes SUV, she said.

A harrowing statement to police from the victim was released to the media, revealing how she was allegedly threatened at knife point, and bound and gagged by the director of a company that repairs electricity power stations.

She told detectives: “I have a profile on a dating website for meeting persons of the opposite sex."

The man’s profile allegedly gave a false name, Maxim, and said he was three years younger than his actual age.

It was her “first date” with him, she alleges.

She added: "We agreed he would pick me up from my home at around 5pm on 24 August.

“We agreed to go to a restaurant of his choice.”

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He reportedly arrived in a black Range Rover, but soon stopped the car at a bus stop and “asked me to undress and have sex right there”.

Describing him as “creepy”, she refused and “he pulled out a foldable knife” and threatened her.

“He ordered me to pull down my underwear.

“I was really scared, and did so.

“He then took out handcuffs with white fluff, and clasped my hands behind my back.”

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She told police: “He also pulled out orange rope to tie my legs, all the time brandishing the knife.

“He wrapped a white towel around my mouth and duck taped it over…and took my phone, switching it off.”

He covered her head with a black T-shirt so she could not see where he drove her.

The cellar of the lockup garage had a bed, basic kitchen, TV, heater and a bathroom and toilet, she told police.

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A video shows the alleged “den” with steel doors where the woman was held as a “sex slave”.

“When we arrived, he told me to lie down on the bed…and he raped me,” she said.

“He then said he ‘liked me’ and that I would stay another night.

“I was hysterical.”

He then allegedly locked her inside the soundproofed cellar, at first coming daily to sexually abuse her at 11am, and later at 5pm.

“He always came in a balaclava and everyday forced me to have sex against my will,” she said.

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Shortly before police found her alone in the cellar he had told her that he was worried because there was a massive search for her.

The Russian Investigative Committee said early today that the garage owner had been apprehended and was being subject to a "detained interrogation".

“In the near future the suspect will be charged.”

A video shows him in detention.

On Thursday, the suspect’s wife had posted a message saying her husband had gone missing in his Mercedes and appealing for information.

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