x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Father of 'molested' girl says alleged attacker should not be jailed

The father of a 12-year-old girl who was allegedly molested by a watchman has told the Criminal Court that the man doesn't deserve to be jailed.

ABU DHABI // The father of a 12-year-old girl who was allegedly molested by a watchman has told the Criminal Court that the man doesn't deserve to be jailed.

Asian man SB, who works for Emirati father AM, is said to have held the girl against a wall and tried to kiss her face. The girl tried to flee so SB kicked her hip before she eventually escaped his grasp.

When the girl, M, and her sister returned home to their mother's house after spending time with their father and stepmother, M's mother called her ex-husband.

"She called me and told me to take action," said AM in court today. "I thought, since nothing actually happened - he did not kiss or undress her and she was able to escape - sending him home was punishment enough."

After AM sent SB back to his home country, he was surprised to hear his ex-wife tell of the incident during a custody battle that the pair are having over their children.

"I had to bring him back and bought him a ticket to the UAE. He was arrested in the airport," the father said, adding that his wife only raised the matter to use it to her advantage in their custody case.

"This man [SB] worked for me for six months, he drove my other daughter and son, he never did anything inappropriate," AM said.

"But the devil is foxy, and maybe he did try to do what he did, but since nothing actually happened, I saw it enough to send him home."

The father also told how that, for nine years, he's only been allowed four hours a week with his daughter, who is small in stature for a 12-year-old.

In court, the mother and daughter gave testimonies confirming the allegations against SB.

At the end of the hearing the father and daughter broke in to tears and hugged each other.

The case was adjourned to March 12 to hear from the defendant, who was not present in court today.

hdajani@thenational.ae