Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Guilty verdict in rape case

City businessman to be sentenced in new year

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A Winnipeg businessman was convicted Thursday of confining, threatening and raping a 15-year-old girl he plied with drugs and alcohol four years ago.

Oubay Chebib, 47, buried his head in his hands as jurors returned a guilty verdict after a few hours of deliberations. He faces the prospect of a lengthy prison term when he returns to court early in the new year for sentencing.

Chebib remains free on bail, although the Crown requested he be taken into custody following his convictions on charges of sexual assault, forcible confinement and uttering threats. The judge declined.

Chebib -- former owner of the Fabulous Futon Factory on Albert Street -- testified in his own defence this week and denied any wrongdoing. The victim, now 19 years old, tearfully told jurors how Chebib fed her with booze and cocaine, tied her up and raped her in 2008 after a night of partying.

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 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.

But Chebib rejected the girl's claim he accused her of stealing drugs from him and then assaulted her, forced her to strip and then searched her body before tying her to a bed and raping her.

The victim told jurors her 17-year-old sister took her to Chebib's home. Chebib supplied both girls with beer and crack cocaine, the teen said. 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.

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.

Chebib was arrested in 2009 and accused of confining and sexually assaulting two other young women he allegedly met on the Internet. Chebib told the Free Press at the time he was wrongfully accused.

The Crown dropped the charges before they went to trial. His lawyer told the Free Press this week both alleged victims recanted their stories.

Chebib has a previous criminal record, which the Crown will provide details of at his sentencing hearing.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 14, 2012 A6

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