x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Air hostess 'molested in car'

Woman's screams during sexual assault were blocked out by loud music, court told.

DUBAI // A driver played loud music to drown out the screams of a woman being sexually assaulted by a passenger in his car, a court has heard.

M?S, 23, an air hostess from Japan, said she left her flat in Al Nahda on December 19 to take a taxi to the airport when a white car pulled up and its driver offered her a ride.

She said she refused the offer but before she could move away the passenger stepped out and grabbed her luggage, shoved it in the boot and told her to get in the car.

The air hostess, who was wearing her uniform at the time, said she had no choice but to get in.

She said that when the car stopped for a red light, the doors were locked and the Lebanese passenger, M?T, a 24-year-old engineer, began to kiss her against her will.

"He started touching me all over my body and tried to take my clothes off but I resisted him so hard," she told prosecutors.

Judge Hamad Abdul Latif of the Dubai Criminal Court heard that as the woman was being molested, the Syrian driver B?M, 24, turned on loud music to cover her screams.

The hostess said that after the assault the passenger asked her for money. When she refused, the driver stopped the car and she was released.

M?T denied a sexual assault charge while B?M denied aiding and abetting the assault.

A verdict is expected on Monday.

salamir@thenational.ae