x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Suspended jail terms for couple having sex before marriage

Cousins who had sex to force the girl's family to approve their marriage are both given a suspended jail terms.

DUBAI // A man who had sex with his cousin so that her family would ignore his bad reputation and approve his marriage proposal was today given a suspended jail term of one year in prison.

The Misdemeanour Court also sentenced his cousin - who claimed the sex was against her will - to a suspended one-year jail term. If either of them repeats the offence within the next three years they will have to serve the term.

The couple - AK, a 21-year-old student, and KS, her 27-year-old unemployed cousin - were found guilty of having sex outside of marriage on several occasions between 2008 and 2009. They were caught when the man sent a letter to the woman's family threatening to "scandalise" them if they did not grant him her hand in marriage.

However, the woman said she had not slept with him willingly, claiming he threatened her and forced himself upon her.

She told prosecutors that previously the pair had enjoyed a normal relationship and that she had rejected all his endeavours to get romantically involved.

"He told me over the phone that he loved me and wanted to marry me but I told him to talk to my family," said the woman, adding that she did not respond to any of the several love letters he sent her.

She noted that he asked for her hand in marriage but her family rejected him due to his bad reputation. She said that after this he sent her a number of letters blaming her and then sent a picture of her that he had obtained from his sister's mobile.

"He threatened me with the picture," she claimed.

She said that in December 2009 he had taken her from her university's library to a hotel where he locked the room and had sex with her against her will. "He ripped my head cover and Abaya and when I pushed him away, he slapped me," she said.

The man denied this happened, saying he had been in a relationship with her for almost three years. He said they had sex on several occasions and that it was always with her consent.

His letter to the girl's mother told her that the pair had slept together several times and said that because of this they should be allowed to marry. The letter detailed the many hotels in which the sex had occured, which he claimed included Le Meridian, Rimal Rotana and Al Bustan Rotana.

"She even got pregnant from me and aborted the baby with pills she had me buy from a pharmacy," the man claimed.

However, the pregnancy allegation was not proven.

salamir@thenational.ae