Australian husband of diplomat kept girl as sex slave
FOUR maids were abused by Russell Howard, the Australian husband of US diplomat Linda Howard, who kept an Ethiopian girl as a virtual prisoner and sex slave.
The Australian has exclusively revealed that as well as keeping the girl as his sex slave while living with his wife on a diplomatic posting in Tokyo, he also abused three further maids.
Russell Howard, who died in 2012 following a US Department of Justice investigation into the Ethiopian maid, abused other women in Yemen.
New evidence uncovered by the a US State Department investigation claims this happened while Linda Howard was on a posting in the Middle Eastern country.
Linda Howard has since moved to Victoria, where she lives in the Melbourne suburb of Docklands.
A US court awarded the Ethiopian woman more than $3.3m via a posthumous fine against Russell Howard after Linda Howard had taken residence in Melbourne.
US judge Liam O'Grady ordered Linda Howard to pay the damages after finding the couple liable of trafficking, sexual and forced labour.
In 2015, Justice Jack Forrest of the Victorian Supreme Court ruled Linda Howard pay the victim. The matter was settled confidentially after mediation.
Documents obtained by The Australian reveal the Ethiopian maid told investigators she worked 80 hours a week for $1 an hour.
She said Howard raped her in her bedroom for the first time a month after she had arrived in Tokyo in early 2009 while his wife was at work in the US embassy.
But both the Australian Federal Police and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) declined to pursue investigations at the time, citing a lack of jurisdiction.
By August 2009, the DOJ agreed to consider the case under federal trafficking laws.
US agents in Yemen interviewed a former maid who also alleged sexual abuse by Howard, and two further alleged abuse victims were identified.