x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Man denies raping 13-year-old girl he met at Mall of the Emirates

Emirati schoolgirl said they met when she was wandering around the mall and they went back to his apartment and had sex several times.

DUBAI // An unemployed man raped a 13-year-old girl shortly after meeting her at Mall of the Emirates where she had been dropped off by another man, a court was told on Thursday.

The Grade 9 Emirati schoolgirl had that night been dropped at the mall by A A, a man she had met on Twitter, before she met 32-year-old K A. She went with him to his apartment and had sex with him, prosecutors told Dubai Criminal Court.

They said the schoolgirl had text A A using her brother’s mobile phone and arranged that he pick her up on April 9.

She got into his car and the two went to his apartment in Dubai, where he started receiving messages and calls from the brother’s phone asking him to bring her back or he would be reported to police.

So A A drove the girl to Mall of the Emirates for her to get a taxi back to her home in Al Khawaneej.

When she failed to return, her mother filed a missing persons report and provided police with A A’s phone number.

A A was arrested but he told police that he did not do anything with the girl. He grew scared after receiving messages from the girl’s family, so drove her to the mall.

Police tracked down recordings from the mall’s cameras and found A A’s story to be true. They then noticed the girl stepping into a car and leaving with its driver.

Police tracked the driver, K A, using the car’s plate number and contacted him through the mall’s security, who asked him to visit them.

Records state that it was nearly 1am on April 11 when the defendant, from the Comoros Islands, received the call from the mall. When he arrived, he was arrested by police.

He confessed that the girl was at his apartment in Sharjah.

She confessed to meeting the defendant at the mall while she was wandering around. She said she went to a cafe with him and his friends then to his apartment, where the two had sex several times.

“In his car he touched and kissed me. Then I remained with him and his friends until 1am that day, talking at a cafe in Jumeirah. Then we went to his apartment where we had sweets then watched TV, then he turned off the lights and had sex with me,” said the schoolgirl.

She said they woke up at dawn and had sex again, then went to sleep until noon the next day. “We woke up, had sex, then ordered lunch,” she added.

That evening, she said they went back to Mall of the Emirates, where K A bought her some clothes before taking her to Ski Dubai. They then went back to his apartment.

“We started having sex and during that his phone rang many times,” the girl said. “He had to stop and pick up the phone, it was Mall of the Emirates, they told him to come at once, so he went.”

She added that shortly after he left she received a call from someone telling her he was K A’s friend and asked her to open the door. “When I opened, it was police,” she said.

A forensics expert confirmed that the girl had recently had sexual relations.

K A was charged with molestation and with rape. He confessed to molestation but denied the rape charge.

In the UAE, sex with someone under 14 is considered rape, even if it is consensual.

The defendant’s lawyer asked the court to summon the forensics expert and the girl for cross-examination and the next hearing is on June 26.

salamir@thenational.ae