Sexual Assault

''Many women who have spoken out against sexual aggression by celebrities have received sympathy, and the men they have accused have often turned contrite in the face of public scorn.

''Not so for Laura Prioul, a 21-year-old Frenchwoman, who says she was beaten and raped last year in a Paris hotel, where a housekeeper found her partly naked and bruised in a hallway.

The man she accuses — a 32-year-old Moroccan pop star, Saad Lamjarred — has a music video with a half-billion YouTube views, a zealous fan base, a prominent family and fame enough that King Mohammed VI helped hire a top-shelf legal team to defend him, according to the Moroccan state news agency. ...
''Now that Ms. Prioul has decided to talk, many people online have condemned the singer and expressed outrage for the support granted to him by the king.

''But many of his fans have also rallied around their idol. Some Moroccan women even released videos online saying they wished he would rape them.

The response reflects what women’s rights advocates say is a disturbing climate of permissiveness around rape. ...

Marital rape is not a crime in Morocco, and sex outside of marriage is illegal. Both rules discourage rape victims from coming forward because of the fear of being incriminated, advocates said.

''“Going to the police to file a complaint about rape can also become an admission of having sex outside of marriage,” Ms. Kouzzi said.

Rape is also punished more leniently if the woman does not lose her virginity during the assault.

Hind Bensari, 30, a Moroccan film director currently based in Denmark, made “475: Break the Silence,” a web series on women’s rights. She interviewed Moroccans extensively about their views on rape and the cultural stigma around it.

“It is largely considered that rape or any act of sexual violence on women is also due to a woman being provocative in one way or another,” Ms. Bensari said.
- AIDA ALAMI, She Accused a Moroccan Pop Star of Rape. Online, She Was Vilified., NYT, NOV. 27, 2017

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