Friday, May 6, 2011

Jail for Sydney black magic sex trio

A so-called holy man who cruelly manipulated two women into sex "prayer sessions" to rid themselves of black magic curses has been jailed for at least 15 years.

Noting the "extraordinary circumstances" of the case, Judge Penelope Hock on Friday told NSW District Court one victim was, in effect, brain washed and that substantial emotional harm was caused to both.

The judge set minimum terms of 15 years, 12 years and five years, respectively, for Tony Golossian, Arthur Psichogios and his wife Frances Psichogios.

The Psichogios couple hugged and kissed in the Sydney court dock before being led away by prison officers.

Golossian, 63, a Syrian-born Catholic, was regarded by some members of the Greek community as a "holy man" who could communicate with angels.

He was found guilty of 24 offences, most being sexual intercourse without consent, while his friend Arthur Psichogios, 41, was convicted of 14 similar charges.

His 38-year-old wife was found guilty of seven charges, including administering an intoxicating substance with intent to enable sexual assault.

The terrified Greek Orthodox victims were told black magic curses had been placed on them and their families involving cancer, reproductive problems and horrific fatal accidents.

They totally trusted Golossian who held "prayer sessions" in hotel rooms, where they were blindfolded and forced into sex.

Instructions were given to the women over the phone by a "demonic-sounding" voice of a man claiming to be King Rasoul and, at one stage, the voice of "Queen Snake" was heard.

Judge Hock said the first victim suffered a terrible ordeal over a four-and-a-half-year period, but even after that the men's insidious influence continued.

When she was pregnant, her husband was sent parts of a video recording of a sexual encounter she was forced to have with Psichogios.

"The sheer cruelty in disseminating images to her husband showed the lengths they were prepared to go to to destroy her life," the judge said.

"She had to endure what must have been an excruciating experience of having the video played in court during the trial."

The day after receiving the images, her husband walked out on her and has never seen the daughter she gave birth to months later.

Judge Hock said the woman had been "cruelly manipulated into bizarre behaviour because she had been, in effect, brainwashed by Golossian's threats towards her family and herself".

The second woman also was the victim of a "deliberate and calculated plan to take advantage of her vulnerable state" at the time, her cultural beliefs and the fact that her father was gravely ill.

During one so-called prayer session she had to drink an intoxicating substance but Frances Psichogios later reassured her nothing had happened when the woman revealed she believed Golossian had had sex with her.

All of the offenders maintain their innocence, meaning "their prospects for rehabilitation appear bleak at this stage", the judge said.

All three were of previous good character and the judge concluded Frances Psichogios, whose convictions related only to the second woman, was under the influence of her husband and Golossian.

She set maximum terms of 20 years, 16 years and nine years, respectively, for Golossian, Arthur Psichogios and his wife.

Throughout the sentencing, police from the Public Order and Riot Squad waited outside the court after an incident last month before the sentence hearing.

Members of Golossian's family allegedly attacked the police officer in charge of the case and his thumb was broken and his suit jacket and trousers badly ripped.


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