Disabled woman ‘raped in Istanbul mall restroom’

Disabled woman ‘raped in Istanbul mall restroom’

İsmail Saymaz - ISTANBUL
Disabled woman ‘raped in Istanbul mall restroom’ A wheelchair-bound woman suffering from a severe muscular disease has been raped in the toilet of a shopping mall in Istanbul, with the suspect going on trial claiming “consent.”

The 39-year-old woman, who lives with her family in Istanbul, was bound to a wheelchair after being diagnosed with a muscular disease 12 years ago.

 In June 2016 she met on Facebook a 35-year-old man who had three children and claimed that he was divorced two years ago. 

They later met at a shopping mall in the Esenyurt district of Istanbul on Sept. 24, 2016, when the man proposed sexual intercourse but the woman refused.

When she went to a restroom of the mall during the visit, the man allegedly followed her inside, locking the door and raping her.

The woman went to a hospital after the incident but doctors struggled to stop her bleeding. She also could not be taken for surgery as doctors feared there was a possibility that she may not recover from anesthetic.

The woman was discharged from the hospital, while the man was detained by police on the same day. He was later arrested on charges of “aggravated sexual assault” and “forcibly depriving an individual of their freedom.” 

The man has claimed they had consensual sexual intercourse.

The woman, who is now a member of Turkey’s Muscular Diseases Association, said she “could not attend the first two hearings for psychological reasons,” but would attend the next hearing on Feb. 13.

“My life was already difficult, but my connection with life has been lost after this incident. I am struggling. I have lost my faith and trust in people. I have experienced the hardest thing that a woman can go through. You cannot understand it unless you experience it,” she told daily Hürriyet.