Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Friends confined, sexually assaulted

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WINNIPEG police say a man who met a woman on the Internet a few weeks ago forcibly confined her and a female friend and then sexually assaulted them early Friday morning.

Officers had to force their way into a suspect's Charleswood home after hearing the women yelling for help.

Police were alerted to the situation when one of the women got to a computer inside the home and sent a message to a friend through a social networking site begging for help about 7 a.m.

Winnipeg Police Service spokeswoman Const. Jackie Chaput called the experience "extremely traumatizing" for both women.

A 44-year-old man is charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of forcible confinement.

More charges could be laid, Chaput said.

But the man accused of the assaults said he's not guilty.

"These allegations are absolutely ludicrous. I am definitely not guilty of this crime," said Oubay Ismail Chebib, by telephone from the Winnipeg Remand Centre late Monday afternoon. "Once you hear something like this, you think of the most heinous thing going... I am beyond belief at how this could have happened to me."

Police allege the suspect used a social-networking site to make friends four weeks ago with a 24-year-old woman. It's believed the woman and a 16-year-old friend then went to the man's home at about 11 p.m. Thursday. Chebib is accused of threatening the women, keeping them confined in the home and sexually assaulting them, said police. The three did illegal recreational drugs inside the home during the evening, said police.

The accused said the police statement he talked to one of the women through the Internet four weeks before the alleged attack doesn't tell the whole story.

"We met in person plenty of months previous to this," Chebib said. "We met in April."

A relative said Chebib is the former owner of Albert Street's Fabulous Futon Factory.

The relative also said Chebib was involved in the former Gilroy Restaurant Lounge and Market.

gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 3, 2009 A4

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