Former student given another 8 years in the case of #MeToo

Cairo (AP) —Egyptian court convicted a former student at Elite University on Sunday in an attempt to rape and possess drugs and sentenced him to eight years in prison in addition to previous penalties for convictions of other sexual misconduct. did.

This is Cairo’s student Ahmed Bassam Zaki’s second ruling against a shameful former American university, shaking Egypt’s conservative society and fueling the #MeToo movement in the most populous country in the Arab world. It was.

According to victim lawyer Ahmed Ragheb, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Zaki to seven years in prison for attempted rape against three women and one year in possession of hashish.

According to court documents, the woman was a minor at the time of the alleged crime. The Sunday verdict can be appealed to the High Court.

In December, Zaki threatened two other women, was convicted of sexual harassment, and was sentenced to three years in prison.

A former student was arrested in July after a complaint against him surfaced on social media, causing a storm of criticism. The #MeToo movement aims to hold people involved in and concealing sexual misconduct accountable.

At the time, the Associated Press’s attempts to contact Zaki’s family and his lawyer were unsuccessful.

According to accusations posted on social media, Zaki dug up a pool of mutual friends for women to target at Facebook, online groups, or school clubs.

According to the accusation, he started with flattery and pressured women and girls to share intimate photos. In some cases, he threatened to send compromised photos to his family.

Zaki is from a wealthy family and studied at one of Egypt’s most expensive private high schools, the American International School and the American University in Cairo. AUC officials said he graduated from college in 2018.

According to activists, Zaki’s case shows that misogyny is crossing Egypt’s strict class boundaries. Many Egyptians have previously described sexual harassment as a problem for poor urban youth.

Sexual assault and harassment are deep-seated problems in Egypt, and victims must also fight the undercurrents of a conservative culture that links women’s chastity to family reputation. In court, the burden of proof rests heavily on the victims of such crimes.

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