Alicia Gali of Australia was excited about her new job in the “desert paradise” of Dubai.American-owned Starwood Hotels, one of the world’s largest hotel groups, even offered to pay for her plane ticket and accommodations as part of the contract that she become a manager.
After being drugged and gang-raped by three of her colleagues, Gali says she found no help from her superiors at the hotel.
After she took herself to the hospital, she was thrown in jail for eight months for sex outside of marriage.
Gali’s Australian attorney explained that, as far as she understands, the crime is only considered rape under the country’s strict Islamic laws if there are “four adult, male Muslim witnesses that can provide evidence that the sex was non-consensual.” Years later, Gali has granted her first television interview to Yahoo 7 News’ Ross Coulthart, and the news organization traveled all over the world to get to the bottom of the story.
According to the report, it was discovered that the assault was planned well in advance, down to the criminals putting a shirt and a plastic bag in Gali’s drain so it would flood, leaving her no real place to go late that night but down to the hotel bar.
She brought her laptop, ordered one drink, and some of her colleagues came over to put some more ice in it. The next thing I know I woke up at in the afternoon the next day,” she said. I was completely naked with just my bra hanging off my shoulder. I had broken ribs and massive bruising on a lot of my body.” There were reports of screams near her room that night, but Alicia doesn’t remember what happened.
Security was dispatched and three naked men were seen in the room, but it is unclear exactly what action was taken.
When Gali asked a senior manager how she could get home — the hotel was hanging onto her passport, presumably for safekeeping — she was allegedly told that she had a “debt” to them since they had paid for her flight and accommodations, and had not yet fulfilled the contract that would allow them to recoup their costs.
The interviewer repeated incredulously: “You’ve been raped.
You’re asking for your passport so you can get medical assistance.
And they’re saying With no idea what to do, Gali called the Australian consulate.
“All [the representative] said to me is reconsider your need to be in the country at this time, and that if I had been drugged there could be issues with drug laws in the country and that I could face life imprisonment.