x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Man denies rape attempt, tells UAE court he was asking boy to read English sign

The man allegedly tried to force himself on the child in the stairwell, but the boy managed to escape.

A man who tried to rape a child claimed he was only asking the boy to read a sign in English, which the man did not understand, the criminal court heard.

The Jordanian victim, who is now 10, said he was at the grocery store in his building when the defendant, from Yemen, asked him to read a sign.

The boy agreed and the defendant picked him to move him closer to the sign. However, he started doing some movements that seemed sexual and the boy felt uncomfortable so he tried to escape.

The man forced him inside the elevator then took him to the stairwell and tried to rip off the boy's clothes.

The boy screamed until he was able to escape, then ran downstairs and told his mother what had happened.

The mother said in court that she immediately got dressed and rushed down to find the man, but he had disappeared.

Upon checking the building's CCTV cameras it was clear that the man was molesting the boy. Suspects fro the neighbourhood were compared with the man in the footage, enabling officials to identify the defendant.

It has taken two years for police and prosecution investigations to refer the case to the criminal court.

The defendant, who has been out on bail, said in court that he did not do anything sexual to the boy and he only carried him to read the sign. He then walked into the elevator with him normally, he added.

The case was adjourned until July 8 so the building's CCTV footage could be brought to court for examination.

hdajani@thenational.ae