Riyadh – A Saudi man reported to have raped more than 100 women after posing as a spell-caster to lure them into his clutches has been sentenced to death, Saudi media reported on Wednesday.
The “Qatif sorcerer” was originally sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1 000 lashes, but after more victims came forward the sentence was changed to execution, Al-Riyadh newspaper reported.
The man, whose name was not given, terrified women around the eastern city of Qatif for several years.
He first drew them in by saying he could cast love spells, but then surreptitiously filmed their meeting and used his work for extortion and to rape them, according to Arab News.
Authorities found hidden cameras and some 200 videotapes and 180 computer disks with footage of his victims in his home, Arab News said.
He may have tricked as many as 350 women, according to Al-Riyadh.
He was ultimately caught when a man related to a woman he had unsuccessfully targeted reported the case to the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and prevention of Vice – the Saudi religious police.
In a sting, a woman contacted him seeking to put a spell on her husband and tape-recorded his demand that she give him a nude picture of herself and 5 000 riyals ($1 333), Arab News said.
Al-Riyadh said the rapes had left many women feeling destroyed and led to at least three divorces.
“I have nothing to lose. What happened to me destroyed my life,” one victim said, according to the paper.