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Cairo: A Kuwaiti appeals court has upheld a five-year-jail sentence given earlier to an expatriate posing as a religious healer after he was convicted of sexually assaulting three underage girls during a treatment session, a Kuwaiti newspaper has reported.

The court also ordered the expatriate, whose nationality was not given, be deported from Kuwait after serving the term, Al Qabas added.

It all started when the father of the three victims sought the defendant’s help in warding off the evil eye.

But the girls returned home in tears and told their father that the alleged healer had behaved immorally and sexually harassed them, the report said.

The father filed a legal complaint against the man, who was later investigated and put on trial. The girls hold the same nationality of the assailant.

It was not clear when the incident happened.

In a separate case, a Kuwaiti criminal court sentenced an Egyptian man to life in prison on charges of raping a boy inside a mosque, media reports said in June.

The defendant who worked as a mosque imam in Al Jahra governorate west of Kuwait City was charged with luring the boy to the mosque, raping him, and psychologically and physically harming him.

The man was arrested after a police chase as he had tried to flee the country.

Foreigners make up nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s overall population of 4.6 million.

The country is seeking to redress its demographic imbalance and replace foreign workers with its citizens as part of an employment policy dubbed “Kuwaitisation”.