A church youth group leader who allegedly blackmailed at least 240 women into being his slaves, forcing some of them to have sex with strangers and animals, has been arrested in southeastern Brazil.
Roney Schelb worked as a sales representative and as well as a volunteer at a church in Muriaé, a city in the state of Minas Gerais.
The Minais Gerais Civil Police said the 32-year-old abused the women during a four-year period across 11 states.
Lead investigator Magno Machado Nogueira said Schelb came into contact with his victims by creating several fake social media and WhatsApp profiles, and offered to pay them between $970 (about R14,311) to $2,400 (about R35,409) for intimate videos and pictures.
But Schelb allegedly provided them with fake bank wire transfer receipts, and after receiving the nude images, he blackmailed the women by threatening to reveal the footage to their friends and family members.
Investigators also alleged that he would blackmail victims into sending him more videos and photographs, with one victim saying he demanded more than twenty a day.
It is alleged that he forced some of his victims to meet in person, where he raped them. Women from further away, he forced to have sex with other men or animals, and send him video footage.
Police say he forced some of his victims to sign sex contracts, similar to one found in erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, which stated they would allow him to do whatever he wanted to them.
The contracts also said he could hit the women as hard as he pleased.
Schelb was arrested October 11 at his home in Belo Horizante. Cops discovered documents detailing all of his victims' information as well as a laptop, tablet, and sex costumes.
As of Monday, investigators were still going through a log of at least 1,600 contacts that he made with the women over the phone.
Schelb's alleged victims included eight minors, as well as teenage girls and young and middle-aged women.
Police spent nearly a month investigating Schelb after a woman came forward and filed a complaint with the Cyber Crime Police Station.
Schelb has denied the accusations.
"When you talk about rape, you imagine acts of violence or something. I never did any of that, I'm innocent," he said.
One victim said Schelb knew of the place of her employment and her employer, as well as her mother's name and the church she belonged to.
"So, he just knew about everything,' the woman said. 'He was talking to people who were going to kill our family."
"He was a sadistic citizen who committed a large number of crimes. Crimes against the sexual dignity of women. Crimes against humanity," Machado Nogueira said, according to Brazilian outlet G1.
"Since he made these slave women, in the most cowardly and frightening way we ever heard."