Nearly three years after a jury found her guilty of drug trafficking, 24-year-old Cassie Sainsbury claims she was the victim of sexual assault prior to her arrest, and that the culprit was the same person who supplied her with the contraband.
According to multiple sources, the former personal trainer said – in a 19 April interview for 60 Minutes – that she received the nearly 6 kilograms of cocaine she was found with at El Dorado International Airport in Bogota, Colombia in November 2017 shortly before she was allegedly raped by a notorious drug lord based in Brazil.
"It was basically, he was saying that I had to be there with him, that I had to do what he wanted, that I didn't have a choice," Sainsbury explained, as quoted by ABC News. "He gave me a soft drink and it was almost like, I felt like I was getting drunk, I was getting tipsy, I started getting sleepy."
Trafficker claimed to have worked under threat
Sainsbury, who was 22 at the time of the incident and subsequent arrest, further explained that she had no other option but to carry the 18 packages of cocaine in her luggage because the supposed kingpin threatened to harm her family if she didn't.
"He simply had the threat above me saying that if I didn't do what I was asked to do then it was my family," Sainsbury added, according to ABC News.
Allegations made after early release
The Adelaide resident's assertions come after she was recently released from the El Buen Pastor prison in Bogota, Colombia, where she'd served part of a six-year sentence for drug smuggling. The initial sentence was 21 years, but had been reduced after she agreed to plead guilty. Her term is now being suspended over concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus that has decimated prison populations all over the world.
This isn't the first time Sainsbury has claimed her actions were inspired by fear. Throughout the course of her trial, the 24-year-old woman said that she would never have worked with the 39-year-old drug lord if she hadn't felt like her life was in danger, or those of her family. However, up to now, she hadn't been quite as forthcoming or detailed about what those threats entailed, the Daily Mail reported.
If you or someone you love has been impacted by sexual assault, talk to us at Gerard Malouf and Partners. We'll provide you with the best representation possible so justice is served.