x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Ten years in jail for WhatsApp desert rapist

Man who befriended a woman via WhatsApp was sent to a prison in Dubai, despite him claiming sex was consensual.

DUBAI // A man who befriended a woman via WhatsApp and then raped her in the desert was jailed for 10 years on Wednesday morning.

Emirati FM, 29, is awaiting verdicts in four other rape cases but denied the charge in this case at the Dubai Criminal Court last October.

At the time he told the judge: “No, this did not happen, I didn’t do anything to her. I met her once at a public place and she was with her friend.”

Prosecutors said that the 24-year-old Emirati victim said she knew FM through the WhatsApp texting application.

“He told me he texted my number by mistake and then we started texting and the relationship grew into love and later he told me he was divorced and has a child who lives with his family,” she said in police records.

The woman testified that she met her attacker on the day of the incident, February 27 last year, to tell him that a man had asked for her hand in marriage.

“He met with me and my friend at Global Village and then he took me in his car for a short drive,” she said. He took her to a remote area and, when she got scared, she asked him to drive her back.

The defendant did not listen, parked the car in a dark area and then started touching his victim.

“He forced himself upon me and I couldn’t resist him because he was very strong,” she said.

FM raped the woman, who said she suffered bleeding as a result of the attack. “I was shaking and feeling dizzy and I lost track of time,” said the victim.

The defendant drove her back to Global Village, where she met her friend and returned home.

“He called me later that night and promised to marry me. He kept stalling, for about two weeks, claiming that once his financial conditions get better, he will marry me but then I felt he was lying so I reported him to police,” said the woman.

The victim’s friend, LH, 23, testified that after he was reported to police, the defendant called the victim’s mother and told her that the sex was consensual and that her daughter had been in previous sexual relations with other men.

Police officer MA said that when he documented the testimony of the defendant, FM said he had sex three times with the woman with her consent.

A forensics report showed that the woman’s body had no signs of forceful sex.

salamir@thenational.ae