CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian courtroom on Tuesday convicted a former scholar at an elite college of sexual misconduct expenses and sentenced him to 3 years in jail, the primary conviction in a case that has fueled the #MeToo motion within the Arab world’s most populous nation.

The Cairo Financial Court docket convicted Ahmed Bassam Zaki, a former scholar at American College in Cairo, of blackmailing and sexually harassing two girls.

Mr. Zaki is being tried individually in prison courtroom on expenses of rape and tried rape of three different girls who had been minors on the time of the alleged crimes, in accordance with the courtroom paperwork. As well as, he faces drug possession expenses.

Tuesday’s verdict might be appealed to the next courtroom.

Mr. Zaki was arrested in July after allegations in opposition to him surfaced on social media, leading to a firestorm of criticism. The #MeToo motion goals to carry accountable these concerned in sexual misconduct and those that cowl it up.

A number of makes an attempt on the time to contact Mr. Zaki’s household and his lawyer had been unsuccessful.

In keeping with accusations posted on social media, Mr. Zaki would mine a pool of mutual mates on Fb, on-line teams or faculty golf equipment, for females to focus on.

He would begin with flattery, then strain the ladies and women to share intimate pictures that he later used to blackmail them with if they didn’t have intercourse with him, in accordance with the accusations. In some cases he threatened to ship compromising footage to members of the family.

Mr. Zaki hails from a rich household and studied on the American Worldwide Faculty, one in all Egypt’s most costly non-public excessive colleges, and the American College in Cairo. AUC officers mentioned he left the college in 2018.

Mr. Zaki’s case, activists say, reveals that misogyny cuts throughout Egypt’s stark class traces. Many in Egypt have beforehand portrayed sexual harassment as an issue of poor city youth.

Sexual assault and harassment are deep-seated issues in Egypt, the place victims should additionally struggle the undercurrent of a conservative tradition that usually ties feminine chastity to a household’s status. In courts, the burden of proof lies closely on the victims of such crimes.

The allegations in opposition to the previous scholar had been collected by the Instagram account @assaultpolice. Since then, the account has performed a vital position in revealing an alleged gang rape that shook Egyptian society in latest weeks.

Allegations of sexual misconduct have additionally emerged in opposition to a number of rights activists and outstanding journalists, however these allegations haven’t made their option to courts.

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