x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Sex blackmail suspect gets three years

The women he blackmailed into having intercourse are convicted of consensual sex.

Abu Dhabi // A man who threatened to show indecent photographs of women to their families if they did not have sex with him was sentenced yesterday to more than three years in prison.

M?M, an Emirati, was convicted of six charges: blackmailing two women, also Emiratis; consensual sex; possession of indecent photographs of the women; committing a forbidden act, threatening, minor assault and using abusive words against the women.

The man was sentenced to three years in prison for illegal sex and blackmail; one month and a Dh1,000 fine for theft; Dh1,000 for committing a forbidden act; and Dh5,000 for minor assault.

Although the man was convicted of blackmailing them, the women were also found guilty of illegal sex and committing a forbidden act by staying in the man’s car alone. They were sentenced to three months in jail.

Prosecutors said M?M used “indecent” images of the two women to blackmail them into sex. He threatened to show the images to the women’s families if they did not comply.

One of the women, M?A?S, met M?M through a female classmate, A?S?B, who was in a relationship with M?M, although M?A?S did not learn that until about a year later. After that relationship ended, however, M?M started to stalk M?A?S, prosecutors said.

On October 24, 2010, he tried to call M?A?S several times, but she had switched off her mobile phone. After she finished classes, she found him waiting outside. He asked her to drive to the seaside, but she refused and headed towards Bani Yas.

He forced her to stop by tailgating and flashing his headlights at her car. He then jumped into her vehicle and had sex with her.

The court found M?A?S guilty of consenting to the act.

M?A?S’s lawyer, Salwa al Habib, said the man took her mobile phone after the incident and refused to give it back. At that point, M?A?S told her brothers, who worked for the military and police. They asked her to arrange a meeting so they could identify his vehicle and report him, said Mrs al Habib. The men confronted M?M after he met with their sister, and during a fight, M?M’s car was damaged.

The brothers were found guilty of damaging the man’s car and the judges gave them a one-month suspended sentence. They were acquitted of trespassing.

M?M had pleaded not guilty to the blackmail and sex charges. The women admitted that they had sexual contact with the man, but claimed it was coerced.

Mrs al Habib said: “M?A?S has consistently denied the charges throughout the investigation levels, and said she was under huge psychological pressure from the defendant [M?M], who constantly threatened he would broadcast the pictures he found on her mobile. She also tried to push him away, but in vain.”

M?M’s lawyer said the evidence against his client was scant and based on hearsay, and that there were discrepancies in the testimonies of the two women and M?A?S’s brothers.

The sentences were handed down by Chief Justice Saeed Abdul Baseer of the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance.

hhassan@thenational.ae