20:47 GMT06 June 2020
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    Alex King, 43, and his partner Anna Shapiro, are notoriously known for pretending to have been exposed to poisoning by a nerve agent in a restaurant in Salisbury last year. King, described by UK-based media as a "playboy", was earlier accused of raping an unconscious woman, and was reportedly jailed on Tuesday by Southwark Crown court.

    According to the court documents, cited by The Daily Mail, the victim, whose identity cannot be revealed, met the sex offender outside a nightclub on the evening of 26 July, 2007. She was invited to a £30 million ($39 million) townhouse for a party, where she was reportedly assaulted.

    "Mr. King described having consensual sex with her that evening", Prosecutor Paul Casey said, adding that one of the King’s friends filmed King having sex with the severely intoxicated woman on his phone.

    "The quality is really poor and grainy. One can see Mr. King having sex with her and being filmed. She acts in an uninhibited way, consistent with being inebriated, and at the end of the film she says ‘stop it’, possibly after realising she was being filmed [...] To be clear, the sex that took place a this part of the evening does not form part of the allegation but it is evidence of the victim’s vulnerable state that evening", Casey said, cited by The Daily Mail.

    According to the media report, the British court also had knowledge of other footage filmed by King, depicting the same sexual assault.

    "At no point throughout this footage does the victim move, make a noise or open her eyes. She is completely unconscious", the prosecutor said, cited by the media outlet, adding that the victim did not give any indication of knowing she was being filmed or consenting to the rape.

    King reportedly deleted the evidence of his crime, but his then-partner later discovered this video using "a piece of software", The Daily Mail said. After police received the video file and showed it to the victim, the woman was horrified and claimed she had no recollection of those events, suspecting that she was drugged.

    At the time, King's victim decided not to file a lawsuit to avoid attracting public interest. The assaulted woman also told the court that the incident had a profound impact on her professional and personal life, including ending her engagement, according to The Daily Mail.

    "I was mortified and distressed to be contacted by the police telling me the stranger who had raped me had made a video recording [...] I didn’t want a jury to see that video of myself being named and being raped. I imagined barristers would assassinate my character [...] I was heart-broken and couldn’t really explain to anyone why my wedding was cancelled. Several months later my fiance and I were reunited and we have now been married for ten years. I tried for several years not to think about that night in 2007 or the horrible months afterwards, I didn’t want to think of myself as a victim of rape", the woman said, cited by The Daily Mail.

    King was sentenced to be jailed for 11 years earlier this year, for conspiring to supply illegal drugs. British police raided King’s address on 26 June 2016 and found a variety of drugs in two safes, including cocaine with a street value of up to £60,000 ($78,000), according to The Daily Mail.

    The court hearing also revealed King's previous record of sex crimes. In 2004, he was placed on the sex offender’s register and received a three-year community order for distributing indecent photographs of children.

    King, who is currently incarcerated in Prison Swaleside, will not begin his new 8-year sentence until the halfway point of his current 11-year jail term is reached, according to media reports.

    Salisbury Nerve Agent Poisoning Hoax

    King and his partner Shapiro, who was earlier described by the UK-based media as his wife although now she is reportedly a prostitute, simulated illnesses caused by poisoning after a dinner at the Prezzo restaurant in Salisbury in September 2018.

    The two, alleging that they had been exposed to a nerve agent, were discharged from Salisbury District Hospital after local medics found no trace of poisoning.

    King's prank drew the attention of the local media at the time because in March 2018 a former Russian military intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, were hospitalized in Salisbury after what UK authorities alleged was exposure to a military-grade nerve agent "Novichok". The Skripals have since been released from the hospital. UK authorities have blamed the incident on Moscow, although Russian officials have repeatedly refuted the allegations. 

    King's hoax reportedly inflicted reputation damage to the restaurant as well as unfounded fears of poisoning, and subsequently led to its closure.

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    Tags:
    Novichok, hoax, sentence, Rape, Salisbury, Alex King, United Kingdom
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