People at Jumeirah Beach. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News archives

Dubai: A driver went on trial accused of sexually abusing a female swimmer at Jumeirah beach, the Dubai Court of First Instance heard on Sunday.

The 32-year-old Pakistani defendant allegedly dived near the woman, touched her private parts and hugged her under the water last month.

According to official records, the 39-year-old Filipina cleaner was swimming with her friends on the beach when the defendant allegedly harassed them. She asked him to leave but he kept returning to her several times, according to the records.

“After 30 minutes, he dived near me and I felt him touching my body. He appeared from under the water and tried to hug me. I pushed him away, yelled and he fled,” records quoted her as saying.

He swam to the beach and she chased him. One of the beachgoers heard her plea to catch the defendant and restrained him until police arrived. An official complaint against him was filed at the Port Police Station.

Another Filipina woman, who was a friend of the victim, testified that the defendant touched the woman in an inappropriate way.

During interrogation, the man admitted to police that he touched the woman’s thigh, but said it happened by mistake while diving.

Dubai Public Prosecution charged the defendant with sexual harassment. A verdict is expected on September 18.