Salesman abused six-year-old girl, court rules

He gets one-year sentence followed by deportation after incident in Dubai building's stairwell.

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DUBAI // A salesman will spend a year in jail followed by deportation for sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl last year, a court ruled this morning.

FM, a 26-year-old Indian, denied the charges last month, telling the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance he merely touched the girl's cheek in a fatherly manner.

Prosecutors said he sexually assaulted the girl, kissing her on her cheek, neck and groin while holding her firmly around the waist.

The victim's mother, PR, 37, testified that her daughter was playing in the corridor in her building in Al Nahda Area 1 about 6.30pm in March 2010. She said she left her apartment door open so her daughter could come and go as she pleased.

PR said FM rang her doorbell, told her he was from Etisalat and asked her about her subscription. Five minutes after he left, she said, her daughter entered the apartment and told her, "I will never play in the corridor again."

When she asked why, the child told her FM met her by the stairs, and when she moved closer, he pulled her into the stairwell, closed the door and abused her.

According to prosecutors, FM confessed to grabbing the child by the shoulders and kissing her against her will three times on the cheek and one time on the neck.

"What happened was a misunderstanding by the claimant, your honour," FM said, adding that the incident was the result of a previous dispute he had with the victim's family.