Worker 'used phone to film woman in secret'

A supermarket worker has been charged with sexually assaulting a co-worker by using a mobile phone to secretly record her.

DUBAI // A supermarket worker was charged yesterday with sexually assaulting a colleague by using his mobile phone to record secret video of her. SM, a 24-year-old Sri Lankan, was arrested on December 7 after his co-worker and alleged victim, BR, a 24-year-old Filipina clerk, spotted a flashing object in the lavatory at their workplace on Sheikh Zayed Road. BR told prosecutors that after taking a closer look, she discovered it was a mobile phone recording video.

"I inspected the phone and found two recordings made inside the toilet while I was using it," she told prosecutors, according to court documents. She then gave the telephone to her sponsor and asked that action be taken. Prosecutors presented downloaded images from the mobile phone as evidence to the court, and said the defendant had confessed. Although he was originally charged with breaching a female's modesty, prosecutors later elevated the charge to sexual assault.

The penal code does not address such acts directly, but the UAE prosecutes defendants who violate or breach privacy through the use of film. In 2007, a British man was sentenced to serve three years in jail after he recorded provocative shots of women at Spinneys supermarket in Dubai. The defendant was found to have recorded video of a number of women, including a 14-year-old girl, and was found guilty of sexual assault.

If found guilty in this case, SM would face a minimum of three years in prison and a maximum of 15 years. The court adjourned the trial until March 28.