Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Winnipeg man found guilty of sexually assaulting 15-year-old girl
A Winnipeg businessman has been convicted of confining, threatening and raping a 15-year-old girl he plied with drugs and alcohol.
Oubay Chebib, 47, buried his head in his hands Thursday afternoon as jurors returned a guilty verdict following just a few hours of deliberations.
He now faces the prospect of a lengthy prison sentence when he returns to court early in the new year. Chebib remains free on bail, although the Crown requested he be taken into custody following his convictions to charges of sexual assault, forcible confinement and uttering threats.
The judge declined.
Chebib – the former owner of the Fabulous Futon Factory on Albert Street – testified in his own defence this week and denied any wrongdoing.
The now 19-year-old victim tearfully told jurors how Chebib fed her with booze and cocaine, tied her up and raped her in 2008 after a night of partying.
"I was crying and screaming for help. I was really scared. I just wanted it to stop," the woman testified. She identified Chebib as her attacker.
Chebib conceded it was possible the teen was at his McPhillips Street home, although he claimed to have no memory of it. Chebib also admitted he was hooked on crack cocaine at the time of the alleged incident and was selling the drug to feed his habit, even trading it for sex. He said he would often have people over to party, including teens such as the alleged victim.
But Chebib rejected the girl’s claim he accused her of stealing drugs from him, assaulted her, forced her to strip and then searched her body before tying her to a bed and raping her.
"I would not take off anyone’s clothes without their consent," he testified. "I wouldn’t hit a woman."
Defence lawyer Mike Cook admitted his client isn’t exactly a model citizen who should get much sympathy from jurors.
"We can all look down our noses at his lifestyle. From a moral perspective, it’s pretty disgusting. But we’re not here to judge him by his lifestyle," Cook said Wednesday in his final arguments.
Cook attacked the story of the victim, who claimed her 17-year-old sister took her to Chebib’s home. Chebib supplied both girls with beer and crack cocaine, according to the teen. She was living in foster care at the time and said she gladly accepted what he was offering.
Her sister stepped outside, saying she was going for a walk and would be back in five minutes. But she never returned, leaving Chebib alone with the girl.
Following the attack, Chebib allegedly ordered the teen to get dressed and leave. The girl immediately phoned her father and later told her foster mother, who took her to hospital.
But she initially refused to give a statement to police, telling jurors she had warrants out for her arrest and didn’t want to go to jail. She eventually came forward in 2010 and disclosed details of the incident.
Cook said Wednesday it "defies logic" that she would wait two full years to make a complaint against Chebib.
Updated on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 4:24 PM CST: Updates with guilty verdict.
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