x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Passenger molested woman in flight, prosecutors say

He touched her and himself while she was asleep, flight attendants testify.


DUBAI // A 53-year-old traveler this morning denied touching a female passenger sitting next to him on a flight coming from Jakarta to Dubai.

The Dubai Public Prosecution charged the Italian RK with sexual assault. He is accused of grabbing the woman’s leg, laying it between his legs, massaging her feet, then taking off his shirt and touching himself.

According to court records, on a December 4, 2010, RK was seated next to the victim, MF, who fell asleep after taking a sleeping pill and drinking alcohol.

RK allegedly used the blanket to cover the woman’s leg, then put it between his legs, records show.

A flight attendant, MA, 30, from Poland, testified that she spotted RK grabbing the woman’s leg as she slept. She said the woman pulled it away without waking up, but RK grabbed it again and massaged it, records show.

MA told prosecutors that few minutes later, she saw him take his shirt off and touch himself inappropriately.

She informed her supervisor, who went to RK’s seat and moved the woman, she testified.
She said that RS found the victim and tried to sit next to her, but the crew did not let him. At that point, the captain notified the police.

When he saw the flight attendant as he was being arrested upon landing, he raised his hand to her in an inappropriate gesture, records show.

“I didn’t do that, your honour,” he told the presiding judge at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance.

YS, the flight attendant supervisor, told prosecutors that she and MA woke the victim and asked her about her relation to RK. When she said she did not know him, they changed her seat.

A verdict is expected on March 29.