Norwegian woman says she was raped, sentenced to jail time

July 21, 2013 at 10:15 AM
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, July 21 (UPI) -- A Norwegian woman says she was sentenced to jail time in Dubai for reporting to police that she was raped by a colleague.

Interior designer Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, was recently convicted on charges of having unlawful sex, making a false statement and illegal consumption of alcohol, CNN reported. She was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

Dalelv was on a work trip in Dubai with three colleagues in March when she said she was raped by one of her colleagues in his hotel room after a night of drinking.

"He dragged me by my purse in, so I thought, 'OK, I just need to calm the situation down. I will finish my bottle of water, I will sit here and then I will excuse myself and say I feel fine,'" she said.

That was the last thing she remembered before the alleged sexual assault. "I woke up with my clothes off, sleeping on my belly, and he was raping me. I tried to get off, I tried to get him off, but he pushed me back down," Dalelv said.

Afterword, she called police and 10 or 12 male police officers arrived at the hotel to question her and the alleged rapist.

Dalelv was then taken to Bur Dubai police station, she said.

"They asked me, 'Are you sure you called the police because you just didn't like it?' I said, 'Well of course I didn't like it.' That is when I knew, I don't think they are going to believe me at all," Dalelv said.

Dalelv was in jail for three days until she was released. At that time, she was told she was being charged with sex outside of marriage and the other for public consumption of alcohol, both are illegal in the United Arab Emirates.

She was later charged with making a false statement for later telling police she engaged in voluntary sexual intercourse. Dalelv said one of her managers advised her to tell the police that the rape was voluntary and likely the whole issue would just go away.

"That was my biggest regret because it wasn't voluntary. I just thought it would all go away," Dalelv told CNN.

Dalelv has filed an appeal in the case and is scheduled to appear in cour on Sept. 5.

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