x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Death penalty for desert rapist

Man lured victim into car before subjecting her to brutal attack.

ABU DHABI // The Supreme Court yesterday confirmed the death penalty for a man who raped a woman and left her in the desert.

The ruling was contained in court documents, which did not disclose any further details about the rapist or his victim.

On January 5 last year, the victim was waiting for a car to take her from the Omani border to Al Gheel area in Sharjah, when the man offered her a ride in his pickup truck.

On the way, he took an unexpected turn towards a mountainous area. When she asked him why, he said he wanted to carry some rocks.

After that, the man went back to the main road, pulled over and asked her to have sex with him.

"She refused and begged him to leave her and not assault her," the documents said.

"But he attacked her as a fierce beast, held her tight and threatened to kill her if she did not have sex with him."

He raped her "despite her weak resistance, then kicked her in her back, left her in a deserted area and went on his way".

She waited on the road until a male passer-by found her and took her to the police station. The woman gave the police details of the rapist's car that led them to him.

He confessed to rape, a confession supported by forensic tests.

Fujairah Criminal Court of First Instance found him guilty of kidnap and rape, and sentenced him on May 9 last year. He and prosecutors both appealed but the Appeals Court upheld the verdict.

Both parties appealed again to the Supreme Court, with the man arguing that the woman had consented to have sex with him.

But the justices ruled that forensic tests and his confessions to prosecutors were sufficient to sustain the conviction. They upheld the sentence, making the decision final.

The decision will be referred to Sheikh Khalifa, the President of the UAE, as his signature is required before an execution.

hhassan@thenational.ae