Shaolin master Juan Carlos Aguilar was arrested by Basque Ertzaintza police after they were alerted by a passer-by who spotted the 47-year-old dragging the prostitute by the hair inside his martial arts gym.
When police officers arrived at the scene they found the woman tied up, in a coma and with visible signs of torture, local digital newspaper El Correo reported on Monday.
Police investigations have found bone remains, not yet confirmed as being human, inside Aguilar’s martial arts gym.
Sources close to the case believe Aguilar may have been had a previous victim and that the body parts found by police in the aggressor’s home, gym and other parts belong to that victim.
They also believe the Bilbao man planned to do the same thing to the prostitute found in a coma.
Aguilar, a Shaolin master well known for being the first Westerner to reach such a high level of the martial art, has made several TV appearances in the past.
Meanwhile his victim is fighting for her life in Basurto hospital’s recovery unit after Aguilar’s strangling and torture left her almost dead.
Police who broke into Aguilar’s gym found both the victim and the aggressor hidden in a tiny room in what has been described as a "macabre scene".
She was curled up in a corner – arms, legs and neck tied – her mouth covered with duct tape as Aguilar held her down.
Emergency workers found the victim had no pulse and it took them 30 minutes to revive her.
Next door neighbours had called Bilbao’s fire squad the night before after noticing a strong smell of smoke and incense coming from the gym, as if "part of a ritual".