Cleared: Multi-millionaire Ehsan Abdulaziz
A Saudi millionaire has been cleared of raping a teenager after claiming he might have accidentally penetrated the 18-year-old when he tripped and fell. Property developer Ehsan Abdulaziz, 46, was accused of forcing himself on the young woman as she slept off a night of drinking on the sofa in his plush flat in Maida Vale, west London.
He had already had sex with her 24-year-old friend and said he might have fallen on top of the teenager while his penis was poking out the top of his underwear. Married father-of-one Mr Abdulaziz was cleared of one count of rape following a trial at Southwark Crown Court. The women met Mr Abdulaziz in the exclusive Cirque le Soir nightclub in the West End on 7 August last year. Mr Abdulaziz, who had known the 24-year-old for around seven months, invited the friends to join him at his private £1,000-a-night table and bought both women a round of drinks. He later offered them a ride home in his Aston Martin. He had paid £1,000 for a private table in the club, and had bought both the girls a round of drinks. The three went back to his apartment, where he offered them vodka before taking the 24-year-old into the bedroom for sex.
The teenager claimed she woke in the early hours of the morning to find Mr Abdulaziz on top of her, forcing himself inside her. Outlining the case at the start of the trial last week, Jonathan Davies, prosecuting, had told the court: 'She said "what are you doing?" he said "it's fine" indicating that her friend was asleep. She got up to find her friend, tried to wake her but couldn't, she then tried to get out of the flat as quickly as she could. 'She was very upset about what had happened to her and because she couldn't wake her friend, she called two friends, she then called the police.'
When Mr Abdulaziz was arrested, the court was told he had responded: 'She'll have to prove it.' Mr Abdulaziz said he had gone to wake the young woman to offer her a T-shirt to sleep in, or to offer to pay for a taxi home, but that she pulled him on top of her and placed his hand between her legs. But he said she become angry when he had offered to call her a taxi and stormed into the bedroom to wake her friend.
|The women met Mr Abdulaziz in the exclusive Cirque le Soir nightclub (pictured) in the West End on 7 August last year|
In his evidence, Mr Abdulaziz demonstrated how the complainant had put her hand behind his head to pull her towards him, causing him to fall down. He said: 'I'm fragile, I fell down but nothing ever happened, between me and this girl nothing ever happened.' He said traces of his DNA could have been found in her vagina because of the fall. He also said it was possible he had semen on his hands after the sexual encounter with her friend.
Mr Abdulaziz told the court that after meeting the women at the club, he had initially offered to drive them to the 24-year-old's flat, but then changed directions and drove to his own home when the teenager asked him to join them for a late-night drink. On the way home he bought the two women some food and cigarettes at a 7/11 store in Notting Hill. Once at his flat, he took the complainant's friend into his bedroom for sex, while she fell asleep on his sofa.
At around 4.30am she woke up to find Mr Abdulaziz had forced her shorts to one side and was having sex with her, the court heard.
But Mr Abdulaziz claimed she had tried to seduce him and had pulled him on to her when he went to offer her a T-shirt to make her more comfortable.
After swabs taken from the alleged victim found traces of his semen in her vagina, he said he may have accidentally penetrated her when he fell on her as she pulled him on top of her.
During the trial, Judge Martin Griffiths permitted the rare step of allowing 20 minutes of Mr Abdulaziz's evidence to be heard in private. After the press were allowed back into court, Mr Abdulaziz insisted that he respected women.
Jason Bartfeld QC, defending, asked: 'Are you in the habit of meeting a girl for the first time at a club and then taking her back home?' He replied: 'It never happened in my life, I always respect ladies and I have a sister myself.' The businessman insisted he had never had a one night stand in the 20 years he had lived in London.
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