x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Imam found guilty of sexual assault on boy aged eight

An imam has been sentenced to jail for sexually molesting an eight-year-old boy he was teaching the Quran.

DUBAI // An imam has been sentenced to three years in jail for sexually assaulting an eight-year-old boy whom he was teaching the Quran. The 26-year-old Indian, identified as DH, was convicted in the Criminal Court of First Instance of molesting his American student, HM, on January 26 at a mosque in Jumeirah Lake Towers. The boy was taken to a private room and molested while his 10-year-old brother was ordered to sit in a corner and memorise verses, according to the boy's statement, which was presented in prosecution records.

The imam unzipped the boy's trousers and attempted to pull them down, the records added. The pupil escaped the attack by hitting the imam with his elbow. His father told prosecutors he had an agreement with the imam to teach his sons the Quran before they were to travel to the US, and had paid him Dh600 (US$160). He said his sons returned to the mosque two days after the initial assault to continue classes. That day, the imam held the younger boy and kissed him, leaving a red mark on his cheek.

The imam confessed to authorities, according to an investigating officer's statement. He later denied the accusations in court. It was the fourth child assault case in the past month involving private teachers, three of whom were Quran tutors. DH was the first to be sentenced. amustafa@thenational.ae