NEW JERSEY. Seventeen year old Haila was held at knife-point by a stranger and raped. She allegedly stabbed him a dozen times in terrified fury, until he was no longer a threat. Medical evidence is reported to confirm the sexual assault. But now the victim is being re-victimized; this time by the system. Haila has no previous record, but is now in jail with bond set at $500,000, charged with murder and facing a possible 50 year prison sentence.
What follows is the facts of the case as provided by Jamaat al- Muslimeen of Atlanta.
17 Year Old Muslimah Killed 60 Year old Rapist
A sister from Atlantic City area (New Jersey) who supports Jamaat al-Muslimeen has been visiting women in prison. She found there 18 year old Haila Gabr of Yemeni origin (U.S. citizen by birth) who is being held on $500,000 bail on murder charges. On looking more into the case, our sister talked to Haila and to the Muslim sister who leads the prayers in the prison. Then she looked at the court proceedings as published in the local paper (The Press of Atlantic City).
Gradually she realized that a great wrong is being done to Haila Gabr. No non-Muslim rape victim would be treated the way Hala is being treated. The facts of the case from the defense point of view are as follows:
Hala was 17 (just 3 weeks short of 18) when her foster mother took her to Atlantic City. The foster mother went to a casino, leaving Hala to see the sights. After a while, Hala hailed a cab to go back to the foster mother. The cabbie offered her $20 to have sex with her. When she refused, he pulled a knife on her, forced her to go to her motel room and raped her violently. (Medical records show that she was sexually violated.)
At some point during the violation, she hit him with a beer bottle. When he went down, she grabbed a knife and stabbed him 13 times.
She hid the body in the bed under the mattress, cleaned up the room, drove off in his car and threw all his belongings in a nearby stream. (These have been found thus negating the prosecution claim that she was stealing his things.)
She did not drive properly and had an accident. She was taken unconscious to hospital. She revived and fled to her father's house in Brooklyn (from where she had originally escaped owing to abuse and thus been put in a foster home.)
The police found her purse in the car and traced her to her father's house where she was arrested.
IMPORTANT NOTES: She does not have any criminal record of any kind. She had no motive to kill the man. The rapist, authorities say, frequently picked up prostitutes and was known as a sexual predator in the Atlantic City area.
Because of her age at the time of the murder, she cannot get the death sentence but she could get life without parole for 50 years.
Our sister has steadily tried to live her life as a Muslim. She needs your support. Please write letters of support to this address: (Note: her name in the legal records is HAILA.) She needs your du'as. Let her know, the ummah is there for her.
Haila Gabr, Atlantic City Correctional Center 5060 Atlantic Avenue, Mays Landing, N.J. 08330