x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Sex charge refuted by woman who reported she was drugged, raped

Woman who reported rape was sentenced to six months in prison for consensual sex, despite insisting she was drugged.

DUBAI // A woman convicted of having consensual sex after reporting she had been raped is appealing against her sentence, claiming a violation of due process.

K A, from the Philippines, was convicted of having consensual sex with her compatriot, A J, at a party in his home on January 28, 2011. The Dubai Court of Misdemeanours sentenced both to six months in prison in August, followed by deportation.

K A's lawyer has filed an appeal, however, claiming prosecutors failed to provide any evidence backing up their claim of consent to have sex. Yaqoub Shaheen, from Dubai Advocates, asked the court to dismiss all charges, citing a "miscarriage of legal procedure".

He argued his client was wrongfully sentenced because she remembers nothing of the incident and would not willingly have slept with her assailant, especially under the circumstances described by prosecutors.

"How can any woman walk into a party located at a studio apartment with 30 people around and agree to have sex with a person she hardly knows while she was completely sober," he asked the court.

Furthermore, a witness identified as J D claimed he heard K A saying no to A J during the party.

K A told prosecutors that A J gave her an orange juice at his January party. She says she believes it was drugged because she did not consume any alcohol at the party, and her last clear memory was of accepting the juice from A J.

Her suspicions that she had been raped at the party were confirmed by a string of SMS messages, sent by her attacker on January 30.

A J's first SMS to her read: "I am sorry". According to court records detailing the SMS exchange, when K A responded saying she did not know what had happened, and asking if they had sex, he replied: "It was an accident, that is why I am saying sorry".

She persisted, saying: "Do you think I knew we were having sex?"

"I don't know," he replied, before saying he did not want to discuss it any further. In his final text, he said: "I am really sorry, both of us are weak".

K A then went to Al Qusais police station to report she had been drugged and raped by A J.

A J has already been deported after serving his sentence. The court will deliver its verdict on March 4.