x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Abuse of girl on bus was not rape, prosecutors say

The men, including the bus driver, have been formally charged with assaulting the four-year-old on her way home from school.

DUBAI // Two school bus attendants and a bus driver have been accused of abusing a four-year-old girl on her way home from school.

J?T, 44, F?S, 37, and the driver M?B, 26, all Indians, were referred to court yesterday on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a minor.

The men have been in custody since January 13, when the girl’s father told police she had been molested. The incident is said to have happened in November but was reported only after the family took the child for a medical check-up.

The men are alleged to have dropped off all the children on their route, then called the girl’s mother, telling her that everything was all right and that the bus would be arriving late. They then parked the bus in an empty car park, according to prosecutors, and assaulted the girl before dropping her off at her home.

Forensic examinations showed that the girl had not been raped but that she had been sexually abused, Essam al Humaidan, the Dubai attorney general, said.

Mr al Humaidan said prosecutors would be seeking the maximum possible jail term for the men – 15 years – if they were convicted.

The court has yet to set a date for the trial.