x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Iranian on trial for attack on girl, 14

An Iranian salesman accused of sexually molesting a 14-year-old schoolgirl in 2008 and threatening to publish compromising images of her went on trial yesterday.

Dubai // An Iranian salesman accused of sexually molesting a 14-year-old schoolgirl in 2008 and threatening to publish compromising images of her went on trial yesterday. The 25-year-old man, YM, is also accused of trying to extort money from the girl. He denied the charges when he appeared in the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday for a retrial after he was convicted in absentia in 2009.

The court heard that the alleged assault was reported after the girl's mother noticed money missing from her purse and confronted her daughter. The girl told prosecutors she went with a friend and her family to Al Mamzar beach in October 2008, where her friend contacted the man by phone. She said she continued to communicate with him, adding that he called her repeatedly. She told prosecutors that the salesman asked her to meet him on November 30, 2008. The girl said she went with YM to his home and as she waited in his apartment, he came into the room naked and forced himself on her.

She also told prosecutors she later received a text message from him claiming that he would publish compromising photos of her if she did not purchase clothes for him. The victim told prosecutors that she stole US$100 (Dh367) from her mother and met the defendant at Al Ghurair mall, where she purchased the clothes. YM was convicted in absentia to three years in jail on November 22, 2009. The retrial was called after he was caught. He is due to appear in court again on April 25, when the defence will present its case.

amustafa@thenational.ae