x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Taxi driver gets 3 months for assaulting schoolgirl

Man denies he touched the 12-year-old girl inappropriately after driving her to school.

DUBAI // A taxi driver who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl was yesterday sentenced to three months in jail.

AS, 35, had been driving the girl to school from her home near Dubailand in October when he began touching her inappropriately.

"I was scared as this has never happened to me before and I told him to stop," the girl, who is from Iran, told the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. "He did it again and I screamed at him. I was terrified."

After reaching the school, the girl paid the taxi fare, left the vehicle and reported the attack to her principal.

AS, a Dubai Taxi Company driver from India, had denied the charge.

He had claimed that the girl had become upset after he scolded her for playing loud music. He claimed the girl then fell asleep and that when he tapped her on the shoulder to wake her up, she screamed and ran away.

The court also ordered the deportation of AS after he serves his sentence. The maximum penalty for the charge is the death sentence.

AS has two weeks to appeal.

amustafa@thenational.ae