x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Husband raped his sister-in-law while wife was on Haj

Emirati sentenced to a year in prison for non-consensual sex and 80 lashes for drinking alcohol.

ABU DHABI // A man who sexually assaulted his sister-in-law while his wife was in Mecca on pilgrimage was sentenced yesterday to one year in prison for non-consensual sex and 80 lashes for drinking alcohol.

The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance convicted AA, an Emirati, of attacking the woman during the Haj season last month. The woman, identified as SJ, reported the incident to police. Forensic tests showed he had consumed alcohol.

A A appeared before the court on Sunday for the first time. He pleaded not guilty to non-consensual sex but admitted drinking alcohol. The court heard that AA lured his sister-in-law to his room, threw her on to the bed, and had sex with her, prosecutors said.

"The defendant confessed to drinking alcohol four times," Chief Justice Abdul Baseer said.

The court implemented the Sharia punishment of 80 lashes because he confessed four times without retracting it.

The chief justice then chastised AA for having sex outside marriage while his wife was worshipping.

Adultery is usually tried under Sharia, which requires the testimony of four reliable witnesses. If Sharia standards are not met, a court must change the charge to either consensual sex or sex without consent, and try the defendant under secular law.

hhassan@thenational.ae