x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dubai man denies raping woman he met online, court hears

Iranian woman tells prosecutors she met the defendant in an online chat room and met in person when the defendant told her he could help her get a job.

DUBAI // A man denied raping a 24-year-old Iranian woman in the back seat of his car, the Dubai Criminal Court heard.

MS, a 31-year-old Emirati, is charged by prosecution with kidnapping and raping the woman twice after arranging to meet her in a car park at Dragon Mart mall.

He denied all charges and told judges he first met the woman through a chat website and that she asked to meet him.

The woman, ES, told prosecutors she met the defendant online on August 2. During their chat, ES said she was looking for work. The defendant told her he could help her get a job with Dubai Customs.

"He asked me for my CV and a copy of my passport," she said, adding that when she told him she would email him the documents he insisted that they meet.

"He gave him his phone number and I called him the same day at around 1pm to arrange the meeting," said the woman.

The defendant asked her to meet him at 8pm at the Dragon Mart car park.

"He spoke politely and with good manners so I believed he only wanted to help me, he even offered to give me money and I agreed under condition that I repay him," she told prosecutors.

ES arrived in a taxi. The defendant pulled over behind the cab, paid the fare and the woman got into his car.

"I told him I can't be late as I lived with my parents," said ES, adding they talked about the work and he gave her Dh3,000 as a loan.

He then drove off and ES was surprised to see him taking a side road and screamed. "He calmed me down saying he is heading towards the main road, but he did not," she said.

The court heard MS pulled over next to a tree and grabbed the woman by the arms. "He said, hand me yourself willingly because I can take it by force," ES said.

She resisted as much as she could but the defendant dragged her to the back seat and raped her.

Afterwards, MS drove ES back to Dragon Mart where she took a cab and reported him to police.

"I didn't rape her and did not drive her anywhere. We talked there and then each one left," the defendant told the court.

The next hearing will be on January 6.

salamir@thenational.ae