x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Estate agent 'assaulted customer'

A court in Dubai has heard an estate agent sexually assaulted a newly engaged woman during a flat viewing.

DUBAI // An estate agent sexually assaulted a newly engaged woman during a flat viewing, a court heard yesterday.

The agent, MA, 29, a Pakistani, was charged at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance with attacking his Mexican customer and inappropriately photographing her with his phone camera.

MA denied the charges before Judge Mohammed Bel Abded.

The woman, 24, said that on the evening of July 18 she went with MA to International City to look at apartments for rent.

"I was recently engaged and I wanted to rent an apartment for myself and my husband-to-be," she said.

During the viewing, MA and the woman went to several different locations, which she photographed.

"At one flat I really liked, I took pictures with my phone camera of the balcony and bedroom to show my friends and fiancé," she said. "I suddenly felt something touching my legs and thighs and saw the defendant putting his hand up my skirt."

The defendant, she said, was inappropriately touching her from behind and rubbing against her.

"I was shocked and disgusted," she said. "I heard the shutter click of a camera and looked down and saw the man take an improper picture of me with his phone camera."

She then pushed the estate agent, grabbed the phone from him and said she would report him to police.

Prosecutors said MA struggled with the woman in an attempt to get his phone back.

"I tried to throw the phone away but he got it from me," she testified. "Then I escaped and ran out of the building."

She said MA chased her and grabbed her by her arms, begging her not to inform his management.

"But I got away and took a taxi, and found bruises and scratches on my arms," she said.

A forensic report detailed the physical marks and cuts she suffered.

The court will reconvene on December 30.