A Hackney belly-dancing teacher has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for raping and sexually assaulting three female pupils.
Shafik Abd El Hamed, 30, of Warburton Street, London Fields, was sentenced on Friday following his conviction at Snaresbrook Crown Court in December last year. He had been found guilty of two counts of rape, one count of causing a woman to engage in sexual activity and one count of sexual assault.
Abd El Hamed used his belly dancing teaching business to lure his students to his house. A 23-year-old woman, who had attended a belly dancing audition in May 2007, was invited by Abd El Hamed to his ‘studio’ for what he told her would be a second audition.
Upon arrival, she saw that the alleged studio was in reality his home address. Abd El Hamed asked her to undress, saying he needed to see how quickly she could remove her clothes backstage, and then raped her.
Another victim, aged 33, attended his home address between March and July 2012 for private lessons and told the court that she was raped during these sessions.
In a police interview, Abd El Hamed denied the offences, claiming he had had consensual sex with the 33-year-old woman, but he was later charged on 2 July 2013.
Detective Constable Jacqueline Burns, the investigating officer from the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “Abd El Hamed ran a successful business and was respected in the belly dancing community, both as a performer and teacher.
“He used this to his advantage to rape and sexually assault three different women. I praise their courage in coming forward; it has been an incredibly stressful and traumatic time for them, and am pleased that Abd El Hamed has been convicted.”
He has also been placed on the sex offenders register for life and is subject to a sexual offences prevention order without time limit.