Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat referred Saturday two policemen to criminal court on charges of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a young woman near the district of Shubra, state-run MENA reported.
According to the news agency, the suspects face a possible sentence of up to life in prison, as the prosecution authority added two more charges to the case, which are engaging in acts of public indecency and arresting citizens without a warrant.
Sexual assault is a crime punishable by a jail sentence of between 7 and 15 years, Mohamed Ibrahim a member of the National Council for Women (NCW) explained to Daily News Egypt Sunday.
Furthermore, the State Council is looking into passing its legislative department’s amendments to the penal code regarding allowing kidnapping and sexual abuse crimes to be punishable by death, state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported last Monday.
The case started a couple of weeks earlier, when the alleged victim claimed the suspects arrested her and her boyfriend as they were driving in the area and began accusing them of violating the public decency law, implying they were engaged in public sexual activity.
In a phone interview with Dream 2 TV channel, the girl claimed the policemen threatened her with filing a report against her on the grounds of ‘public indecency’.
The criminal code vaguely defines the act, but stipulates that it is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to EGP 300.
She said that instead of letting her leave, the two policemen ‘forcefully’ took her in their vehicle under the pretext of driving her home. “I was crying. In their car, they told me we would spend ‘a happy time’ before dropping me [off],” she added.
The alleged victim stated that when she pled for mercy, telling them she was a virgin, they assured her by saying she would remain intact, as they drove into a route she did not know, seeking an isolated area.
The girl stated that one of the policemen was doing the talking, attempting to obtain her consent on sexual activity. She said she was sexually assaulted, not raped, by only the talking policeman, while his colleague ‘covered up for him.’
The Forensic Medicine Authority’s findings came in accordance with the girl’s story. Spokesperson for the Authority Hisham Abdel Hamid previously confirmed that medical reports showed traces of seminal fluid on the girl’s clothes. However they stated there were no signs of violence and no evidence of rape.
Such evidence would constitute signs of partial or total (forced) vaginal penetration, as defined by law.
According to the girl’s story, she was able to hide her mobile phone to get in touch with her partner, as he was the one who informed authorities. She said other policemen were divided between supporting her and pressuring her into backing down from pressing charges.
After two weeks of detention, the suspects were released on EGP 1,000 bail pending investigations.
A journalist working for the Egyptian Al-Shorouk newspaper said Saturday that according to his sources from the general prosecution authority, the two policemen were taken back into police custody pending trial.