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Cairo: An Egyptian court Tuesday sentenced a young student, facing charges of multiple sexual assaults, to three years in jail in a high-profile case, legal sources said.

The Cairo Economic Court convicted Ahmed Bassam Zaki, who is charged with sexually assaulting three girls and threatening them, of misusing social media. Zaki, 22, is being separately tried at a criminal court on charges of sex assaults.

He was arrested in July amid accusations of sexually assaulting and blackmailing dozens of women in a case that has sent shockwaves across Egypt. He is also charged with inciting victims to debauchery, violating their private lives and infringing Egyptian society’s family values.

In investigations, the defendant admitted to having come to know six girls via a social networking website, that he alleged sent him “indecent” photos. He threatened to show the photos to their families when the girls wished to end their relations with him.

But the defendant denied the accusations levelled against him on social media that he had raped, blackmailed and harassed dozens of Egyptian and foreign women.

Earlier this year, scores of women turned to social media, posting chilling testimonies claiming that Zaki, a former student at the American University in Cairo (AUC), had blackmailed them to succumb to his sexual demands. His purported victim included a teenage girl.

The AUC said the suspect had left it in 2018.