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Student accused of sexual assault says ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ made him do it
The 19-year-old University of Illinois freshman claims the BDSM was consensual.
If there’s any lesson we can learn from the intense controversy surrounding the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey, it’s that when it comes to participating in BDSM, consent is key. But a young man in Illinois claims not to have gotten the message.
Mohammad Hossain, 19, a freshman at the University of Illinois, was arrested in Cook County for allegedly sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman. He said it was a reenactment of Fifty Shades.
According to Assistant State Attorney Sarah Karr, Hussein brought the woman to his dorm room and asked her to remove all her clothing, except her bra and underwear. He then bound her hands and legs with belts and stuffed a necktie in her mouth.
Hossain used a knit cap to cover the woman’s eyes, Karr said, and removed the woman’s bra and underwear. He then began striking the woman with a belt. After hitting her several times, the woman told Hossain he was hurting her, told him to stop “and began shaking her head and crying,” said Karr.
Hossain continued striking the woman—including with his fists, according to an arrest report—and she managed to get one arm, and then another, free. But he then held her arms behind her back and sexually assaulted her as she continued to plead for him to stop, according to Karr.
The young woman finally escaped and told police what had happened. Hossain was arrested later that night and a judge set his bail at $500,000.
Although the victim of the alleged assault claims she told Hossain to stop multiple times during the encounter, he appears not to have gotten the message. When asked by the presiding judge how Hossain could have “let a movie persuade him to do something like this,” Hossain’s attorney replied that her client considered the act “consensual.”
Marisa Kabas is a lifestyle reporter and activist. Her work has been published by Fusion, Fast Company, and Today. She’s also served as an editorial campaigns director for Purpose PBC, a social movement incubator.