Muslim woman raped for reading bible, prosecutor alleges

A Sydney man charged with sexually assaulting a practising Muslim woman allegedly told her to "let your Jesus help you" after she listened to Christian preachers and read the bible.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph reports that the Iraqi Muslim man was alleged in Campbelltown District Court to have raped a Muslim woman as "punishment" for her reading the Bible.

The court in Sydney's west yesterday heard Abdul Reda Al Shawany twice sexually assaulted the woman and then said to her: "Let your Jesus help you."

Al Shawany, 52, has plead not guilty to two counts of having sexual intercourse without consent between 1 and 27 September, 2002, at a unit in Warwick Farm.

At the first day of the week-long trial yesterday, Crown prosecutor Michael O'Brien outlined the case and told how the woman allegedly kept the clothes and underwear she was wearing on the day of the alleged rape in a plastic bag for about three years.

The woman initially reported the matter to police but did not want to take it further because she felt "ashamed", Mr O'Brien said. She later changed her mind and Al Shawany, of Hillsdale, was arrested in July 2005 and the woman provided police with the clothing.

The Crown alleges swab samples from the accused had the same DNA as the semen sample taken from the woman's clothing.

"The complainant was born a Muslim and raised a Muslim and was a Muslim all her life," Mr O'Brien said.

He said when the woman came to Australia from the Middle East she began listening to Christian teachers and reading the Bible.

He said the woman - who wears the Muslim hijab - had received threats from members of her faith for reading the Bible but had not converted to Christianity.

In a police interview, Al Shawany denied having sexual intercourse with the woman or threatening her.

Meanwhile in another case, teenagers accused of recording the gang rape of a 17-year-old girl and distributing it a Catholic school were today freed on bail after police discovered a second recording allegedly showing her having consensual sex with one of her alleged attackers.


SOURCE
Raped 'for reading Holy Bible' (Daily Telegraph, 17/4/07)

ARCHIVE
Rape video sent to girl's schoolmates (CathNews, 5/4/07)

MORE STORIES
Teens charged with rape granted bail (Sydney Morning Herald, 18/4/07)
New video found in gang rape case (Daily Telegraph, 17/4/07)


18 Apr 2007

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