Egypt court sentences ex-student to three years in #MeToo case

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court on Tuesday convicted a former student at an elite university of sexual misconduct charges and sentenced him to three years in prison, the first conviction in a case that has fuelled the #MeToo movement in the Arab world’s most populous country.

The Cairo Economic Court convicted Ahmed Bassam Zaki, a former student at American University in Cairo, of blackmailing and sexually harassing two women.

Zaki is being tried separately in criminal court on charges of rape and attempted rape of three other women who were minors at the time of the alleged crimes, according to the court documents. In addition, he faces drug possession charges.

Tuesday’s verdict can be appealed to a higher court.

The former student was arrested in July after allegations against him surfaced on social media, resulting in a firestorm of criticism.

The #MeToo movement aims to hold accountable those involved in sexual misconduct and those who cover it up.

Several attempts at the time by The Associated Press (AP) to contact Zaki’s family and his lawyer were unsuccessful.

According to accusations posted on social media, Zaki would mine the pool of mutual friends on Facebook, online groups or school clubs, for females to target.

This file photo shows Egyptian women shout slogans and hold banners during a protest against sexual assaults in Cairo, Egypt. PHOTO: AP