Leeds couchsurfing.com rapist jailed

A Moroccan national who raped and threatened to murder a woman in his flat after meeting her on the popular global website couchsurfing.com has been jailed for 10 years.

Father-of-one Abdelali Nachet, 34, allegedly subjected the woman who had travelled from Hong Kong, to a degrading and humiliating sex ordeal after he offered his flat as a place to sleep for travellers on the website.

A jury had previously failed to reach a verdict but following a retrial another jury yesterday found him guilty of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault.

As the foreman read out the majority verdicts Nachet dramatically collapsed in the dock and began wailing hysterically. Security guards were forced to drag him away to the cells where he repeatedly banged his head on the floor.

During the trial the court heard that volatile Nachet, of Leeds, had an entry on the legitimate site where he said he liked to meet new people

and offer them hospitality.

The court heard that he "wanted to offer the best of me and Moroccan


Prosecutor Simon Phillips said his 29-year-old victim was from Hong Kong and was travelling in Europe when she got in touch with Nachet, looking for a place to stay.

The jury heard that throughout her travels she had been using the website couchsurfing.com.

Mr Phillips said: "This is a site that enables travellers to find free

accommodation with like-minded individuals to stay the night.

"Amongst the travelling community it is well known on an international basis.

"She trusted the website and had previously stayed with other people, including single men, without incident."

She wanted to visit Leeds and contacted Nachet after spotting his entry on the website.

After exchanging e-mails the woman travelled from the West Midlands to Leeds on March 5 and met Nachet before going back to his flat with him.

Prosecutors claim once there Nachet raped her twice and sexually assaulted her in an ordeal that lasted throughout the night.

Mr Phillips told the court that Nachet had started making sexual advances after putting some music on and asking the woman to dance.

The jury heard that at that point she decided to go to bed but as she was getting ready Nachet asked her to come into his bedroom so he could show her some family photos.

Shortly after this the defendant shut the door, dimmed the lights and pushed her on to his bed.

He then told her that he wanted to get married and wanted to make love to her, telling the woman that if she let him make love to her it would be over very quickly.

The court heard that the woman told Nachet that he shouldn't do this and that she didn't want to make love to him.

During her ordeal Mr Phillips said Nachet told her "if you try to run away I will kill you and after that I will kill myself."

It is claimed that Nachet forced the woman to have a bath after the alleged rapes to get rid of incriminating forensic evidence.

Mr Phillips said the morning after Nachet did some vacuuming before leaving the flat with the woman.

She got on a bus back to the West Midlands and alerted police after telling a male friend she had met on couchsurfing.com what had happened.

The jury heard the night after the alleged rape, three people Nachet had met on the same website had travelled to Leeds to stay at his flat.

Sentencing him to 10 years in prison Recorder of Leeds Peter Collier QC said: "When your partner left you, you intentionally used the couchsurfing website to attract women to your home.

"Having observed you during the course of this trial I'm satisfied you believe that you are irresistible to women."

He added that Nachet had subjected his victim to a "long and persistent

physical assault", used "emotional blackmail" and put her "through indignity after indignity violating her again and again."

He said that the sustained attack was an "abuse of trust of those who sign up to the social networking site to come and stay in your home."

As he was taken away to serve his sentence Nachet screamed: "I want to go back to my country. I want to go back to Morocco. This is not right. I want to be sentenced in Morocco. This is racist."