x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Technician groped maid while colleagues worked, Dubai court hears

An air conditioning technician claimed he groped a woman 'by mistake', but later admitted to intentionally molesting her.

DUBAI // An air-conditioning technician told a court that he touched a woman's breast "by mistake", before changing his story and admitting to groping her on purpose.

"I did not mean it, I touched her by mistake," the 28-year-old Indian ST told the Criminal Court, as he denied a charge of sexual assault. However, minutes later he changed his plea to guilty and said that he did indeed mean to touch her, but that she had forgiven him and signed a waiver.

The court heard that the technician and a number of his colleagues visited a villa on August 26 to fix the air-conditioning. The maid at the villa, a 21-year-old Filipina, said that the men had been working on the roof for about an hour when the technician came down and asked her for a glass of water to drink.

"I noticed that he followed me to the kitchen when I went to get him the water," she said. After she handed the technician the water, he told her he liked her.

"He then groped my left breast," said the maid, adding that she then screamed at the man. He apologised, but she remained scared and ran to one of the villa's bedrooms before calling her sponsor.

He informed police and the technician was arrested.

A verdict is expected on November 14.

salamir@thenational.ae