Man jailed for raping tourist

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The Independent Online

A man who raped a tourist in his home after offering her a place to stay through a travellers' website has been jailed for 10 years, police said today.

Abdelali Nachet, 34, subjected his victim to the "appalling" attack after meeting her on the CouchSurfing website and inviting her to stay at his flat in Leeds in March this year, West Yorkshire Police said.

The 29-year-old woman, from Hong Kong, had already successfully used the site, in which locals offer free accommodation to travellers, to stay at members' homes during a trip around Europe.

She wanted to visit Leeds and contacted Nachet, who is originally from Morocco, after seeing his advertisement.

But after arriving at his home in the Moortown area of the city, Nachet raped and threatened to murder his guest in an attack which police said "preyed on the kindness and hospitality of those using the internet to meet new people and explore new places".

The woman reported the attack to police after leaving Leeds and returning to the West Midlands, where she told a friend she had previously stayed with through the website about the rape.

Nachet was yesterday found guilty at Leeds Crown Court of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault after a retrial.

A jury failed to reach a verdict at the original trial earlier this year.

Detective Sergeant Emma Wight, of West Yorkshire Polices Rape Investigation Unit, said: "The sentence of reflects the serious nature of this crime and the abuse of trust demonstrated by Nachet.

"This woman was visiting the UK and had trusted Nachet's motives for offering his home as somewhere for people to stay.

"He violated this trust in the most appalling way and I would like to pay tribute to the bravery and courage shown by the victim in this case who has returned to the UK from Hong Kong to take part in the trial.

"Nachet has preyed on the kindness and hospitality of those using the internet to meet new people and explore new places and hopefully the sentence will bring some closure to the victim and her family, while also acting as a warning to those considering staying at a stranger's home on their own."

The victim said: "I would like to thank West Yorkshire Police for their help and support in bringing this man to justice and I would also like to express my gratitude to all the staff from the Surviving Trauma After Rape project that have helped and guided me through what has been a very difficult time."