A 17-year-old girl who was kept in a basement by her father who intended to sell her into marriage has been rescued by police.
The man had already paid €4,000 ($4,770) of a €15,000 payment and, according to their agreement would pay the remainder this September when the girl was to be taken to live with him in France this month.
According to the illegal 'marriage contract' between the two men the girl's father had promised that she would remain a virgin and would remain in the same physical shape as when she was 13. She was also expected to "learn to fulfill domestic chores."
The girl was strictly controlled by her 49-year-old father at all times, who police said regarded her as his 'property.' She was not allowed to leave the house unless she was accompanied by a male member of the family and without any money or a SIM card for her phone, she was unable to call for help.
However, the teenager was able to raise the alarm after accessing an open WiFi connection on her phone on which she was allowed to play offline on her phone. She contacted a friend in Sicily who she met in a chat room and recounted her circumstance.
With just the girl's name the friend contacted a centre monitoring domestic violence in Florence. Police were able to track her down and rescued her from 'a probable life of slavery.'
Her father, who is a Serbian national has been arrested.