x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Cross-dressing beautician 'watched health inspector strip'

A male salon worker let female customers undress in front of him thinking he was a woman, a court hears.

DUBAI // A cross-dressing beautician watched on as a municipality health inspector stripped in front of him, unaware he was a man, a court heard today.

The female inspector assumed the 42-year-old Filipino EJ was a woman, as he wore women's clothes, make-up and perfume and had manicured nails. The beautician was also taking breast enlargement tablets, prosecutors told the Dubai Criminal Court.

The inspector was not the only person confused by the beautician's appearance. When he responded to his name being called in court, he began to walk towards the judges' bench, but was initially sent back by police guards who thought he was a woman.

The inspector, a 39-year-old from Sudan, said she was assigned to pay an undercover visit to the salon on January 25 and that when she arrived she was taken to a nearby apartment where she was told all treatments were carried out.

She said the flat was equipped with a bed, resuscitation tools and other surgery tools. She added that one of the employees told her a doctor came once a week to carry out cosmetic operations.

She said the beautician then took her to the laser treatment room and asked her to undress before a treatment to remove hair from her armpits.

The beautician, who was accused of burning the inspector during the treatment, denied her account. "I didn't make her take her clothes off, I just showed her the laser device," he said.

The inspector said she reported the beauty salon for violating regulations and offering laser treatments and Botox injections without obtaining proper permits.

Police responded to her report and arrested the beautician. One of the beautician's fellow employees told the officers of his true gender.

He was charged with sexual assault, cross dressing and pretending to be a woman. He was also charged with practising medicine without the proper permits and using a laser treatment device which posed a risk to the safety of a health inspector.

He denied all charges.

The next hearing will be on May 13.

salamir@thenational.ae