Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 March 2018

Footballer jailed for raping woman has appeal dropped

The Emirati previously played for Al Wasl, Al Nasr and Al Jazira football clubs and represented the UAE in the 2011 Asian Football Cup was sentenced to a year in prison for raping a Lebanese woman

A football player who raped a woman in a Palm Jumeirah hotel room has had his appeal against a one-year jail sentence dropped after failing to attend any hearings.

The 30-year-old Emirati, who played for Al Wasl, Al Nasr and Al Jazira football clubs and represented the UAE in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, denied raping the 36-year-old Lebanese mother when he appeared in Dubai Criminal Court in August.

On March 26, the defendant called the woman, who was his friend, and asked her if she would join him for dinner at a hotel. He told her she could bring a friend and he would bring one too.

The defendant, who The National cannot name, picked her and her friend up from her flat at 9.30pm that day, the woman told the court.

She said they arrived at the hotel and found that he had booked her a room for the night and one for himself.

The two women headed to the room then to the swimming pool before later meeting with the defendant and his friend at the hotel restaurant.

“The four of us had dinner, after which our friends left the hotel, so I headed to my room. He walked me back then remained at the reception – he told me he still had to finalise his booking,” said the woman.

The footballer called her a few minutes after she got into her room, she said, and asked for a mobile phone charger. When he came to her room to pick it up, he had some alcohol with him and offered her some.

“After we had a few drinks, he started flirting with me and he got closer to me, so I pushed him. He pushed me against the wall then dragged me by my hair and threw me on the bed, after which he raped me,” she said. “I resisted him but he was stronger.”

The woman said she was crying and begging the defendant to allow her leave the room but he refused, fearing that she would go to police.

“I told him if he wanted to kill me just go ahead and do it. If not, let me leave, for the sake of my children,” said the woman.

He let her go then she told hotel security and they called police who arrived and arrested the defendant. The woman was taken to Rashid Hospital.

The footballer was sentenced to one year in prison by Dubai Criminal Court last November but he appealed the sentence.

After he failed to attend any of his appeal hearings, the court dismissed his case.

The court did not disclose if the defendant can file a second appeal or not.

In 2014, the defendant was suspended from playing and fined Dh10,000 for assaulting a coach.