Dubai court told man molested boy in lift

The latest in a spate of child abuse hearings comes after a campaign was launched warning children of the dangers of sexual predators.

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DUBAI // A five-year-old boy told prosecutors in detail about his alleged sexual assault in a lift, a court heard yesterday. According to court records, the boy told prosecutors that AM, a 30-year-old unemployed Indian, had pulled his pants down and molested him, in June last year. The child then ran out of the lift and told his mother about the assault, records show. The prosecutor, Sultan bin Touq, said in his case file that the child spoke fluent English and was able clearly to describe the alleged assault.

AM claimed he knew the child's parents well, regularly selling them clothes and accessories. The parents denied that, with the boy's father saying they had never met. AM now denies the charges, although prosecutors told the court he had previously confessed. The court will issue its verdict in the case on June 20. The trial is the latest in a string of child abuse cases before Dubai courts this year.

An Emirati man was sentenced to death in January for raping and murdering a four-year-old Pakistani boy on the first day of Eid al Adha last year. An imam was sentenced to three years for sexually assaulting his eight-year-old American Quran student in Jumeirah Lake Towers last month. An Egyptian private tutor was found guilty of molesting a twelve-year-old girl and sentenced to three years, and an Pakistani lifeguard was sentenced to six months in March for sexually assaulting two sisters, aged nine and seven, at a hotel swimming pool in September.

The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children said child abuse cases had accounted for a quarter of its workload last year. The Juvenile Care Association has launched a campaign last month intended to warn children of the dangers of sexual predators.