Dubai: Prosecutors lost their appeal against a tourist who was cleared of chasing a housewife to an elevator and molesting her by hugging her after she had left a coffee shop.

The incident happened when the 36-year-old housewife bought a coffee from Starbucks at a residential tower at Dubai Downtown and was walking towards the escalator in February 2017.

As she took the escalator to head down to the parking lot, the 33-year-old Saudi tourist was reported to have stood behind her and grabbed her by her waist. The woman also claimed that the tourist pressed his body to hers, groped her and quickly escaped from the scene.

The woman reported the incident to the police, who caught the accused in April 2018.

In August, the Dubai Court of First Instance acquitted the Saudi tourist of molesting and breaching the modesty of the housewife, who is from Comoros Islands.

Prosecutors appealed the primary ruling before the Appeal Court and sought to have the suspect’s conviction overturned. The Appeal Court’s presiding judge Eisa Al Sharif refuted prosecutors’ appeal and upheld the Saudi’s acquittal citing lack of evidence.

When he appeared in court the Saudi said: “That did not happen … I did not touch her.”

The woman told prosecutors that the man molested her once she left Starbucks and headed to the escalator wanting to go to her car at 2.30pm.

A police corporal testified to prosecutor: “A police patrol was dispatched to Dubai Downtown … the claimant alleged that the suspect pressed his body to hers and touched her indecently. He ran away when she yelled at him.”

However, the Saudi tourist was cleared of any wrongdoing.

The appellate ruling remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court.