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Employee, 61, molests teen in seawater

Schoolgirl was playing beach volleyball when suspect invited her to use his float

Gulf News

Dubai: An employee has been accused of molesting a schoolgirl and making her touch him when he invited her to use his float at the beach, heard a court on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old Emirati schoolgirl was playing volleyball with her friend at the beachside when their 61-year-old countryman came and invited the girl to use his float in November.

Once she agreed and went into the seawater, the 61-year-old told the girl to swim towards the float, according to records, and then he helped her climb on it.

While doing so, the teenager slipped into the water before the employee grabbed her hand.

The man held the girl’s hand for a while, molested her and then put her hand in his swimsuit and made her touch him.

When the girl’s friend asked her to come out of the seawater, the 17-year-old was hesitant at first and moved her eyes strangely before she walked out and told her what had happened.

The teenager informed the beach security who called the police who took the man into immediate custody.

Prosecutors accused the suspect of molesting the teenager.

In February, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the defendant of molestation and sentenced him in absentia to six months in jail.

The man turned himself in and requested a retrial, during which he pleaded not guilty and refuted the girl’s allegation on Tuesday.

“I did not molest her or touch her,” he argued before presiding judge Mohammad Jamal.

The girl claimed to prosecutors that the incident happened while she was playing volleyball with her 16-year-old friend.

“We were spending a day at the beachside. The suspect came and invited me to try his float. I went into the water and when I was climbing the float, I lost my balance but he grabbed my hand … then he put it in his swimsuit and made me touch him indecently … he also molested me,” she testified to prosecutors.

A police lieutenant, who questioned the suspect, claimed to prosecutors: “He claimed that he invited the girl to ride the float and touched her when he was helping her ride on it.”

A ruling will be heard on April 29.

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