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Man who sold girlfriend’s teen daughter up to five times a day as prostitute is jailed

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On her 15th birthday she was dressed in a short skirt, had make-up applied and was forced into prostitution by her mother and step-father.
The pair had pressured her that the family would be homeless and left to starve if she did not sell herself for sex.

The 26-year-old step-father who kept his partner’s teenage daughter as a prostitute and sold her body up to 1000 times has now been jailed.
Avneesh Sehgal was sentenced to four years and eight months behind bars when he appeared at the High Court in Auckland on Tuesday.
He had earlier plead guilty to three charges of dealing in a person under 18 for sexual exploitation and receiving earnings from commercial sexual services provided by an underage person.

The victim, who has permanent name suppression, escaped her nightmare in 2016 and fled to the police in Whangarei.


Last month, her mother Kasmeer Lata was jailed to six years and 11 months for her part in the case.
The slave dealing conviction for her treatment of her daughter is one of just three in New Zealand’s legal history, since the crime was written into the Crimes Act in 1961.
The victim and her mother arrived in New Zealand in 2014 on visitor visas from Fiji.

Towards the end of that year Lata met Avneesh Sehgal and they entered into a relationship, court documents said.

Shortly after they began their relationship they moved into a house in Papatoetoe and Lata asked the victim if she would work as a prostitute in order to raise money for the family to start a business and to have food to eat.

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The daughter initially refused. Lata told her they would starve and would be homeless and she would only have to sell herself for sex for one month.
Sehgal and Lata advertised the girl in the New Zealand Herald as one of two “HOT SEXY busty Indian girls” and said she was 18-years-old. She was only 14 at the time.
Those advertisements were paid by Sehgal.

On the victim’s 15th birthday, she was sold for sex for the first time.
She was dressed up in a short skirt, had her hair straightened and had make-up applied.

Despite continually expressing she did not want to go through with the arrangement, her own mother coached her on how to have sex.
A man paid $200 to have sex that day and he then became a regular at the home, arriving every two weeks to have sex with the teen.

As Lata did not have a valid New Zealand visa, she was unable to open a bank account and therefore Sehgal’s bank account was used to deposit all of the cash earnings.
Her mother continued to organise men to come to their home.

When neighbours started to get suspicious that the house was operating as a brothel, the family moved to Takanini.

Sehgal and Lata continued to arrange “appointments” for the victim, but this time it would be in motels or clients’ homes.

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During this time, the victim was also photographed by New Zealand Girls – an online escort agency.

The victim was required to undress and put oil on her body. Those photos were then put online and she was advertised as “Tipsy”.

Those advertisements were paid for by Sehgal and he deposited money into the New Zealand Girls account three times.

In the 18-month-period the teen was forced to be a sex slave, she was sold about 1000 times or about five times a day, the court heard.

She made about $100,000 in earnings, most of which was kept by Sehgal and Lata.

Sehgal would often drive the victim to and from these “appointments”, accompanied by Lata.

The victim read out a victim impact statement during her mother’s sentencing and told the court how she now suffered from regular pain as a result of her trauma and had ongoing mental health issues.

She told the court how she found it difficult to meet new people, particularly men and she had become excessively cautious in their company.

The victim no longer trusts anyone, including her family.

SENTENCING

At the sentencing on Tuesday, crown prosecutor Natalie Walker said Sehgal was an integral part of the offending and it was likely without him it would not have occurred.

Walker told the court Sehgal continued to deny the offending and he was arrested at the airport trying to flee the country back to India.
Defence lawyer Graeme Newell said Sehgal did not drive the victim around every time, there was a taxi driver involved.

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He also said Sehgal was not essential for the offending to occur.
Once he has served his jail time Sehgal would be deported to India and Newell asked Justice Lang to not impose a minimum jail sentence.
In his sentencing Justice Lang said there was no dispute Sehgal played a far lesser role in the offending than the victim’s mother.

“Nevertheless you played a significant role,” Justice Lang said.
Justice Lang said the ordeal had a devastating effect on the victim.
“The effects of the offending will last for her forever,” he said.

Justice Lang said the breach of trust by Sehgal was not as extreme as that by the girl’s mother.

“But, you must have known the gross breach of trust that was been committed against her.”

In a pre-sentencing report Justice Lang said Sehgal expressed some remorse but he did not consider it to be sincere
“If your remorse was genuine I would have had no doubt you would have expressed it much earlier than today.”

Justice Lang gave no discount for remorse.

Sehgal was sentenced to four years and eight months and will have to serve a minimum of two years and four months’ jail.

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