A refugee from Yemen, who befriend two Dutch students aged 20 and 21, has been convicted of raping both girls at a party celebrating him winning asylum in Antwerp, Belgium. Prosecutors are now seeking 40 months in prison for the refugee.
The migrant, who name is reported as Ibrahim O., admitted in court that he had sex with the girls but claimed, “I only met their needs.”
The incident began in 2019 while he was working as a web developer for a non-profit organization, where he met the two Dutch students while they were interning there. One student was 20 years old and known only as “D.” while the other was 21 and known only as “M.” Both girls had moved to Antwerp to work at the non-profit, where they struck up what one girl described as a “friendly” relationship with Ibrahim, according to the Nieuwsblad news outlet.
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The two girls met with Ibrahim on Nov. 17, 2019, where he told the girls they must celebrate because he had just won refugee status. He invited them to a party where he bought food and alcohol in the Berchem district.
“They ate and drank together. It was the intention to dance together. But the girls had had too much to drink. M. did not feel well and had to vomit. And D. eventually fell asleep on the bed, sedated,” said Sanne De Clerck, a lawyer for the Dutch students.
When D. woke up, she noticed Ibrahim touching her vagina and penetrating her with his fingers. She tried to resist but was too drunk to stop him.
“When she woke up again, she saw Ibrahim assaulting her friend M. and was performing oral sex on her. She asks him what is going on. She then woke up her friend… They panicked and yelled at Ibrahim to leave the apartment. They called their parents and told them what had happened to them. Then, they called the police. The girls were taken to the hospital in major distress,” said De Clerck.
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The girls said that Ibrahim took advantage of their drunkenness to assault them. The Public Prosecution Service found these statements credible, adding that they could not give consent because of their drunken state.
“When Ibrahim made advances during the party, he was initially rejected. These young women lost their virginity with him. They were covered in blood after the incident,” the lawyer added.
Ibrahim O. told the police that he had not raped them because he had not ejaculated. However, according to prosecutors, sperm traces were found on one of the girls’ underwear. The semen belonged to the defendant.
According to Ibrahim’s attorney, there is too little concrete evidence that her client is guilty of rape.
“Maybe the girls agreed to have sexual relations but later regretted it. Isn’t it striking that they first called their parents and then the police?” said his attorney.
When Ibrahim O. himself spoke during his court trial, it became too much for the victims. They fled the courtroom crying when they heard Ibrahim portray to the judge how he had sex with both girls.
“I only met their needs. I have never hurt a woman in my life, neither in Yemen nor in Belgium. I am a good person,” he said.
One of the victims read a “victim statement” during the trial:
“How is it possible that we are still discussing permission or not. You had the choice to leave when we could not say “no” anymore. You chose to take advantage of the situation and assault us. Since that day, everything in my life has changed. It seems like I had to start all over again. I have lost faith in everyone around me, in myself. I worry all the time that I am giving the wrong signals. My life should be colorful. Since that night, everything in my life has been gray. And I thought we were friends,” M. told the court.