A British woman who was arrested after she was gang-raped in Dubai last night said: ‘The truth will out’.
The 25-year-old spoke out after her attackers posed for a smiling selfie with a reality TV star days after their arrest.
Dave Butlin, 22, and Louis Harris, 24, are accused of attacking the woman, who was then thrown in jail for having sex outside marriage when she complained to police.
Yesterday she said: ‘I have every respect for the United Arab Emirates and its laws and have faith that justice will be done. The truth will out.’
A message from her to her father on Facebook read: ‘It’s petrifying out here alone but I have to stay strong.’
An unnamed friend told The Sun she was being ‘incredibly brave’ and keeping her head down while those accused of raping her are ‘sunbathing and boozing with pals’.
‘At some point the world will know what has happened,’ she told the paper. ‘She is strong but being tested to the limit.’
Butlin and Harris were arrested for the attack as they tried to board a plane home last month.
But after being questioned and bailed, they were pictured on sun loungers at a beach club with James Argent, who stars in reality TV show The Only Way is Essex.
Their victim, an IT consultant, is separated from her husband of two years, had stopped in the UAE on her way to Australia where she was hoping to start a new life.
She went for a drink with Butlin and Harris – a footballer who still lives with his parents in but they attacked her and filmed it on a mobile phone.
Detained in the Gulf state after having her passport confiscated, the woman’s family say she is the victim but is being treated like a criminal by the Dubai authorities.
It is understood Harris and Butlin – believed to be cousins – strenuously deny the claims.
Photographs posted on Argent’s Instagram page last week show the 28-year-old with the pair at the exclusive Blue Marlin Club, which is inspired by the beach clubs on the party island of Ibiza. The caption read: ‘The Brummie boys.’
Harris and Butlin, a businessman and market trader, have also had to surrender their passports and can’t leave the UAE.
A relative of Harris, admitted it was a ‘difficult’ time. She said: ‘All I’ll say is that he’s a really lovely boy.’
Legal sources said all three Britons, who are receiving assistance from the Foreign Office, could face up to a year in prison.
They face a charge of consensual sex outside marriage and also of being drunk, which is illegal in Dubai even though consuming alcohol is not.
The source said prosecutors might add a further charge of filming sex. In the UAE, it is illegal for married people to have sex out of wedlock and for a single person to have sex with someone who is married.
A huge number of Westerners visit Dubai every year and it is relatively rare for Britons to fall foul of its morality laws.
But the Foreign Office has said Britons are proportionately more likely to be arrested there than any other country.
Radha Stirling, of Detained in Dubai, said the UAE had a long history of failing to deal properly with allegations of rape. ‘We … have campaigned to change attitudes in the police and judiciary. Recent cases… show that it is still not safe for victims to report these crimes to the police without the risk of suffering a double punishment.’
A spokesman for ITV said Argent did not wish to comment. There is absolutely no suggestion that he is suspected of any crime.
The rape took place at the Ramada Plaza Jumeirah Beach hotel in Dubai, where the two men were staying.
The incident is understood to have happened on October 23, but the arrests did not take place until October 25.
When the woman described her ordeal to detectives, she was charged with having extra-marital sex.
She was bailed after spending days in jail and is now forbidden from leaving the Gulf state. In posts on social media the woman, who is living with an English family in a ‘safe’ house, revealed she is ‘petrified’ and ‘fearful’.
Relatives at home have mounted a social media campaign to raise legal funds. They say she needs at least £24,000 and last night £12,000 had already been donated.