Maria Covaci, 29, of New Road, Silverbridge, Armagh, was heard on Friday by video conference at Coleraine Court in Ballymena, where she had asked to be released on bail, and she had been under arrest for a month and a half.
The Romanian woman is being investigated on two charges of kidnapping, two of possession of an offensive weapon, two of seizure, two of joint aggression and one of sexual assault.
The charges relate to an incident on James Street in Ballymena that took place on November 13, when Covaci was eight months pregnant. A district judge told the court that the woman, who is a Romanian citizen, faces “very substantial and very serious charges.”
A PSNI policeman appeared in court and said that the Romanian woman is related to all the crimes she is accused of. He told the court that on November 13, police received a report of two missing persons. Later, they returned home, but were in a “very troubled state.”
He said that the two young women told the police that they were caught and forced to get into a car, under the threat of knives, by two people, one of them being Maria Covaci. The two victims said they were taken to a secluded place, where one of them was forced to kneel.
The officer said that the girl’s clothes and underwear were removed, she was photographed and told by her attackers that she would be made an “internet star”.
The detective opposed the release of the Romanian woman on bail, due to the risk of interference with witnesses and the risk of leaving the jurisdiction.
A defense lawyer told the court that the Romanian woman has two children and was eight months pregnant at the time of the alleged attack.
The judge rejected the request for bail and ordered the arrest of Maria Covaci until January 27.
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