Emirati singer Saoud Abou Sultan found guilty of rape, sentenced to three years in jail
Cassation Court confirmed a 3-year jail term for defendant, who raped a drunk woman in his villa. (File photo)
A famous singer lost his legal battle on Monday and will be jailed for three years after he was convicted of raping a 19-year-old Frenchwoman in his villa.
In July 2013, the Emirati singer, S.S., and his countryman friend, A.I., met the Frenchwoman at the poolside of a hotel at Jumeirah Beach Residence.
Then they invited her to a party at the singer’s villa in Al Barsha, where the woman claimed that the two had sex with her against her will after she got drunk.
On Monday, the Dubai Cassation Court rejected S.S.’s appeal and upheld a three-year jail term against him.
A.I.’s one-year imprisonment was also confirmed.
The two accused had entered a not guilty plea and firmly refuted the Frenchwoman’s claims that they molested and raped her.
In November, the Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced S.S. and A.I. to three months in jail each for having consensual sex with the 19-year-old.
The primary court had modified the rape accusations that prosecutors levelled against the duo and convicted them of having consensual sex with the woman.
Records said the woman was left naked and unconscious on a pavement in Al Barsha after she was raped in the singer’s villa while she was drunk.
In April, the Dubai Appeal Court overturned the primary verdicts and lengthened the singer’s punishment to three years. A.I.’s three-month imprisonment term was lengthened to one year.
During Monday’s hearing, S.S.’s lawyer, Ali Musabbeh Dahi, argued before the Cassation Court: “The appellate court did not apply the law properly. The claimant was very drunk when the incident took place. When she visited my client’s residence, she had a handbag full of clothes … that clearly shows that she had planned to spend the night at the villa. This means that she had consensual sex with the duo … my client did not rape her. The forensic examiner’s report did not confirm that she had bruises or injuries during what the woman claimed to be rape.”
Court records said the Frenchwoman’s civil compensation claim of Dh21,000 has been referred to the Dubai Civil Court.
“What confirms that she had consensual sex with the defendants is that she tried to blackmail S.S. She sent him an SMS in which she suggested dropping her complaint if he paid her Dh500,000,” Dahi told a bench of five cassation judges.
The 19-year-old told prosecutors that A.I. met her around 4pm.
In her statement, she said a Syrian man was also present. They invited her to a party at the singer’s villa where they drank alcohol.
“I blacked out and woke up in hospital where I realised that I had been raped. I had bruises on my neck and right arm ... the doctor who examined me told me that I had lost my virginity,” the victim said.
In the appeals before the Cassation Court, the defendants asked the court to overturn their conviction and refer the case back to the Appeal Court to be handled by a new panel of judges.
The five-judge panel discussed the appeal the same day in the deliberation room and decided to dismiss the singer’s appeal.
The ruling has become final and S.S. and A.I. will have to turn themselves in to serve their punishments.
Court records said a police sergeant, who lived nearby, discovered the half-naked woman at 6.30am.
A police lieutenant cited A.I. admitting that he had consensual sex with the woman at the villa.
BY BASSAM ZA’ZA’