A millionaire Saudi property developer was acquitted of rape in London after claiming that he slipped, fell and accidentally penetrated the 18-year-old after a night of drinking.
Ehsan Abdulaziz, 46, had been accused of sexually assaulting the young woman as she slept on the sofa in a London flat last year. Abdulaziz said he had already had sex with another woman, a 24-year-old friend of the alleged victim, and that he was already in a state of undress when he tripped and fell on the 18-year-old.
Abdulaziz had met the two women at a hip West End club last year, where he spent 1000 pounds on a private table. He entertained, wined and dined the women before offering them a ride home in his Aston Martin. They continued the partying at his London flat, and then the 18-year-old said she went to sleep on the couch, but she woke up to find Abdulaziz on top of her.
Abdulaziz had a different story. He said he merely wanted to offer the woman a t-shirt to sleep in. He said the woman tried to seduce him, which is how his DNA got onto her after he had accidentally fallen on her. He also said his penis might have been poking out of his underwear because of his earlier sexual encounter.
Judge Martin Griffiths allowed the rare step of 20 minutes of evidence in favor of the defendant to be heard in private. The jury found him not guilty after just 30 minutes of deliberation.
“I’m fragile, I fell down but nothing ever happened, between me and this girl nothing ever happened,” he said.
Even though investigators found semen on his hands after the incident, he said it was because he had just sex with the 24-year-old friend of the alleged victim.
“She woke up with the defendant kissing her and (being penetrated),” Prosecutor Jonathan Davies told the Southwark Crown Court in London.
“She said: ‘What are you doing?’ and he said ‘It’s fine’, indicating that her friend was asleep,” Davies continued. “She got up to find her friend, tried to wake her but couldn’t, she then tried to get out of the flat as quickly as she could.”
There have been other outrages when rape defendants have been acquitted or gotten light sentences. In the U.S. state of Montana, judge G. Todd Baugh was excoriated in 2013 for sentencing a convicted rapist to one month in jail. He said the 14-year-old rape victim, who ultimately killed herself, was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control” of the situation as the 49-year-old rapist.