Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Egypt: Update--Security Guard Denies Charge He Raped British Businesswoman at Five-Star Hotel

According to http://www.egyptindependent.com, the defendant who is a security supervisor in the alleged rape of a British businesswoman, 40, at an unidentified Sharm al-Shiekh five-star hotel has denied the charges made against him, alleging that the victim is attempting to receive a major settlement from the hotelier.

South Sinai Prosecution Chief Mohamed al-Shamy ordered the arrest of the defendant on Saturday (March 29).

COMMENT: In the interest of transparency, I do not believe that the alleged rape victim submitted herself to a forensic examination to collect physical evidence that a rape actually occurred.

During interrogation, the defendant claimed that the alleged victim had lured him more than once into a compromising situation, but he refused her advances.    

At the time of the incident, she reportedly told him that she had a pain in her leg and asked him to take her to her room.

The security guard affirmed he was with the victim for less than a minute, but then left, which spurned her anger.

The suspect also indicated that the tourist tried to lure more than one worker in the hotel and that she had been drunk the whole time. 

The alleged assailant reported the alleged victim’s complaint to INTERPOL in an effort to neutralize her collection of a financial settlement from the tourist agency.

Editor's note: The alleged assailant's report to INTERPOL has not been corroborated.  

A security source told Al-Ahram's Arabic news website that the arrested has been charged with “attempting to sexually assault a tourist during her visit at the hotel between February 28 through March 6."

News reports circulated that a 40-year-old British businesswoman claimed she had been raped by a hotel worker during her visit to Sharm El-Sheikh on March 6.

So...which is it? An attempted rape or forcible rape?

Unfortunately, Egyptian police have made no public statements on the status of their investigation.

On Monday (March 24), Egypt's tourism ministry said it was investigating the case along with British Foreign Office with UK authorities.

The same day a police officer was referred to criminal court for the attempted rape of a Russian tourist in the Red Sea resort town.

Egypt's Tourism Ministry revoked the licenses of two hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh--Hilton Sharks Bay Hotel and Sharm Holiday Resort--after "sexual harassment" incidents at both resorts were ignored by management.

In May 2013, Egypt's tourism minister Hisham Zaazou told AHRAM ONLINE  that hotels would be closed if staff were found to have sexually harassed tourists, behavior that Zaazou said would negatively impact on the country's reputation.

Interestingly, the Tourism Ministry has recorded 150 cases of "sexual harassment" against tourists over the last two years. 

There have also been only three recorded rapes in 2013, which seems  implausible given Egypt's size and population.

It is essential that authorities define "sexual harassment," which is why I urge the Tourism Ministry's counsel to legally define the term by statutory citation.