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Egyptian Groper Receives Hard Labor, Jail Sentence

Sexual harassment in Egypt won't get you a slap on the wrist, but it will get you years in jail time and a sentence for hard labor. In what was most likely the first jail sentence for sexual harassment in Egypt, defendant Sharif Gomma was also ordered to pay his victim $895.

While in his car, Gomma drove slowly next to his victim, groping her as she walked on a sidewalk. The victim fought back, eventually hauling him into the police station herself. After much media attention showered on the case, the judge handed down a harsh sentence to prove that such behavior will not be tolerated in Egypt, where two-thirds of men admit to harassing women in public.

In New York City, one chronic groper, arrested 53 times, faced life in prison for his latest offense on the subway. Do you think three years in prison and physical labor for a first sexual harassment offense would count as cruel and unusual punishment in the US?


jcd jcd 8 years
I agree with the judge, but I think that three years in prison, plus hard labor, is a bit long. Maybe the sentence could be cut by one year or two if the man apologizes publicly, on television for instance, not just to his victim, but to all women. Then a panel of women from various rights' groups could ask the judge to free him earlier if they are satisfied with his apology and feel that this penalty, hard labor + public humiliation, will deter many men and make them think twice before they harass women.
belovedpurewater belovedpurewater 8 years
Zeinobia, I have a friend who lived in Egypt for two years and I have been to Morocco, and I understand that the line is crossed by men quite often. It is a fallacy that this does not happen elsewhere, however. The US continues to have a large problem with it, however I believe we are so fixated on the responsibility and freedom of the individual that we blame the victim too often. It is always good to hear that a crime is being punished. As far as what the punishment consists of, I believe that every country has its own quagmires. Women in the US get raped by men who get less time than men who get caught with certain amounts of marijuana on them! The reality is, women across the world are still fighting for fairness and I admire women like Noha who take a stand. When I was in Morocco, a French girl was raped by a Moroccan young man and the police came over, got him, and he was sent to prison for 15 years. I think justice systems need to be fair, but I also think that cultures who don't help to stand up for women sometimes and the systems reflect a certain imbalance.
Wow. This really makes me want to visit Egypt. Zeinobia, if I do visit, can you guide me as to which parts of town are off limits? I can scream and yell, but alas, nobody would understand me. :-(
zeze zeze 9 years
when 2/3 of men admit to it, I think the punishment needs to be handed out more to make these creeps realize what they are doing is serious and will not be tolerated. So in that case it is fair. If they US ever developed such a huge problem with groping, I would recommend similar punishment here - you have to do what you have to do to make people with thick skulls understand. Widespread harassment against women like his has led many places, like Egypt, Iran, and even non-islamic Brazil and I think Italy (not sure about the last one) to open women only buses and hotels, and what is even more surprising then the idea of a woman only bus is how popular they are. I saw a clip for a woman-only beach in Italy, that was opened for Muslim tourists by a private business owner, yet he saw most business from non-muslim Italian women, which lead to Italian men complaining, one guy was so sad, he was like "then why d we come here if they all go over there, this is stupid."
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
This would be considered cruel and unusual here, but it's light compared to what they deserve.
em1282 em1282 9 years
...also, there are some great websites for people who have been harassed in public--I believe they're called "Holla Back" websites, and you can post pictures of the people who harass you on the street. Interesting concept, and I think if more people knew that people who got harassed had the power to take their pictures to post on a website, they'd think twice before bothering anyone in public.
em1282 em1282 9 years
Thanks for sharing your perspective with us, Zeinobia. (Love your name, too ;)). I'm glad she stood up for herself too. Maybe here it would be considered cruel and unusual punishment, but as someone who has been approached and asked to 'take your coat off and get comfortable' on a train by a total stranger and has been hollered at while waiting for her bus (or, actually the worst thing I saw was when this poor teenager, probably no more than 15, was being hollered at from this guy's car on the corner near my house...he didn't stop until three other people, myself included, got to the bus stop and told him to knock it off) would be great to teach people here a lesson about common decency...
Michelann Michelann 9 years
Two thirds of men admit to harassing women in public?! That is... wow. Culture shock. They admit to it?
Zeinobia Zeinobia 9 years
@ Jazz Z, thanks dear Well he was not that idiot but she was a fighter , she stood in front of the car and kept screaming till the people began to gather,people somehow were negative ,most of them tried to solve the matter as it became the norm "screaming in the face of harasser: shame on you, she is like your sister" then turning to the girl "sweety go back home ,we are sorry" ..bla bla bla but she insisted along with her friend to go to the police station , one young man helped her to grab the guy till the police station. What I am really happy for is the people's reaction , people are very happy that a girl stood that bravely and took her right back and they are welcoming this verdict
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 9 years
Zeinobia, being from Eqypt it was very interesting to hear your perspective on this subject. I have to say it must be the pits to be the one who ends up being the example for everyone else. I would have liked to see how she got a guy who was in a car hauled off to the police station. He must have been an idiot.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 9 years
wow thats so sad zeinobia! I hope it really gets better in Egypt with this whole issue. Hoefully that man (and many others) will learn there lesson with the sentence!
Zeinobia Zeinobia 9 years
I am an Egyptian girl and this verdict is the first one from its kind in the history of judicial system. Noha , who is the brave girl that fought that groper I think was very lucky because of her upbringing and how her family supported her till the end It is not about the first sexual harassment offense here more it is about setting an example These 3 years will teach the other to think twice Now the foreign countries warn its citizens from Sexual harassment in Egypt ,a country where tourism is from the main income Now as a girl I think twice before going to certain areas down town From 10 years ago women could walk down the streets normally with no fear at all From 20 years ago there was a girl who was rapped in a terrible accident and the whole society could not believe that something like this happens From another side I think in Egypt we need to new legalization for the sexual harassment because I followed a famous case of torture last year where a Police officer sexually abused an innocent man,the verdict which was also historical was three years in jail , there is a huge difference between the two cases as you see I have just seen Noha speaking on TV last night and I was happy for that verdict because enough is enough
momma-tikita momma-tikita 9 years
wow three years for that here is bananas! As i was reading it kinda of grossed me out thinking what this woman had to go through! I guess whatever teaches the perv!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
I mean, I think it would be an outrageous sentence here, but then again we don't have a huge harassment/groping problem. I've heard that when you're in Egypt you should basically expect to be groped and harassed if you are a woman. I suppose if we had a problem here, I wouldn't necessarily advocate a stiff criminal penalty, but some hefty punitive damages in tort lawsuits might do the trick! ;)
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