Egypt Independent

Egyptian accused serial rapist confesses to 6 sexual assault incidents



Egypt’s Public Prosecutor Hamada al-Sawy on Monday ordered accused serial rapist, Ahmed Bassam Zaki, 22, to be detained for 15 days pending investigations into allegations of multiple rape and harassment crimes.

The Public Prosecution interrogated the suspect, and he confessed to some of the charges against him. He admitted to knowing six women through social networking sites and receiving nude pictures of them.

The suspect kept these photos and later threatened the victims, saying that he would send them to the women’s families after they expressed a desire to end their relationship with him.

He was also charged with attempting to have sex with two young women without their consent, and with sexually assaulting another woman using force and intimidation. One of the alleged victims was under 18 years old.

The prosecution accused Zaki of threatening the victims and others with disclosure of their private matters and with spreading defamatory information about them. These threats were accompanied by demands to have sex with the women, inciting them to debauchery, and intentionally annoying and harassing them using telecommunications equipment.

The prosecution said that the suspect violated family principles and values in Egyptian society, violating the sanctity of the women’s private lives, sending the victims many messages without their consent, and using accounts on social media to commit these crimes.

The Public Prosecution began its investigations by hearing the testimony of a complainant who submitted her complaint online to the Public Prosecution.

The victim said that she received messages from the suspect through WhatsApp in late November 2016 threatening to use his influence to reach her family and tell them that she practiced prostitution and used drugs if she turned down his demand to have sex with her.

The victim refused and blocked him on social media before later learning from her colleagues about his behavior.

She provided evidence in her testimony, including the copies of the threatening messages she received. She explained that she reported this incident when the suspect’s crimes went viral on social media, even though she had turned a blind eye to it in the past.

The Public Prosecution also heard the testimonies of four women and a child who filed cases against the suspect. They admitted their acquaintance with him on various social networking sites from 2016 until the present. The women described him having conversations with them that included creating common issues, sympathizing with them, or trying to provoke their admiration to ensure their relationship becomes strengthened. Then, they said, he requests to meet them, trying to convince them using various arguments.

The suspect then allegedly lured his victims to meetings at various place, including the residential compound where he resides. As soon as they were alone, he attempted to sexually assault them, but they managed to resist him and get rid of him.

However the suspect pursued them with intense sexual messages, accompanied by the request to have sex and not to end their relationship.

The suspect threatened his victims by saying he would publish the photos he had taken of them during his sexual assault, and invoking his alleged influence to defame them. However, they did not submit to his request and ended their relationship with him, choosing not to report his crimes for fear that their relatives would blame them. They proceeded to report later, encouraged by the disclosure of his assaults on social media.

Zaki’s confessions on Monday contradict statements he made on Saturday, when he pleaded not guilty. The suspect said that he never knew the young women who wrote on social media claiming that he sexually assaulted them.

The Egyptian police arrested the suspect on Saturday on the orders of the prosecution, after stories of the accused’s alleged attacks went viral on social media, causing widespread anger.

On Friday, the Public Prosecution said it was closely following all the information about the suspect that had been shared on social media, including testimonies from women claiming that Zaki sexually assaulted them and used extortion to force them into performing sexual acts.

The Public Prosecution called on all media, news sites and social media users to share only accurate reports on the prosecution’s activities and to only follow statements and news issued by its office.

Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) on Saturday said that it had filed a report with the Public Prosecution to investigate allegations from an Instagram page by women claiming that a young man from a rich family had harassed, assaulted and even raped them.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm