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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

Taxi driver jailed for sex attack on American naval officer

Man's not guilty verdict overturned at court of appeal

A taxi driver was jailed for six months after sexually assaulting an American naval officer who was a passenger.

The Egyptian man placed his hand on the 22-year-old operation specialist's thigh before forcing her to touch his groin, Dubai's court of appeal heard.

The 34-year-old was initially cleared of the charge at Dubai Criminal Court - but was convicted after prosecutors lodged an appeal against the verdict.

The court was told that the driver took the victim and two friends from the Mall of the Emirates in Al Barsha, Dubai, to their naval base in Jebel Ali on March 5 last year.

“It was almost 9pm when my friends and I left the mall and took a cab to head back to the base in Jebel Ali,” the woman said.

“The driver asked me to sit next to him to give him directions.

“He then placed his hand on my thigh, I removed it and he put it back again.”

When they arrived at the main gate of the United States base, she said he attempted to put his hand under her shirt and then pulled her arm by force and placed it on his private parts.

“I removed my arm then told the security guards, who kept hold of him until they called police,” she said.

When officers arrived, they found a representative from the American embassy who briefed them about the incident.

“When we talked to the accused, he denied everything and said that they were 'framing him' because he asked two of her friends to stop kissing in the taxi,” a Dubai Police officer, 48, testified.

The driver denied the sex assault charge throughout proceedings.

The appeal court overturned his acquittal and jailed him for six months to be followed by deportation.