A high Egyptian appeals court has upheld a death sentence against a man for raping a 20-month-old girl last year, a judicial source said, in a final ruling in a case that provoked widespread public outcry.
The 35-year-old man was convicted of kidnapping and raping the toddler in a village in the Nile Delta governorate of Daqahliya. The man was arrested on the same day of the incident, which took place in March 2017.
The defendant was sentenced to death by a lower criminal court on 1 June after the Grand Mufti, the country's top religious authority, approved the court recommendation of the death penalty in non-binding but legally required opinion.
The Court of Cassation on Wednesday rejected the defendant's appeal against the initial sentence, upholding the death penalty. The verdict is final and cannot be appealed.
Investigations showed that the defendant, the victim's neighbour, kidnapped the child as she was playing in front of her house in a village in the town of Belqas in Daqahlia, taking her to an abandoned area where he raped her, causing heavy bleeding.
The defendant's father was killed by the girl's uncle in June 2017, the same month of the initial court ruling.