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A Dubai court recently charged a 29-year-old Emirati man with sexual assault after he attempted to rape his sister-in-law, Khaleej Times reported

Though he admitted to the charges filed against him during interrogations, the accused denied the sexual assault charges in court.

The incident, which dates back to July 20, was reported to authorities at Al Barsha police station by the victim of the assault, a 29-year-old housewife. 

In her complaint to police, the woman said the defendant sneaked into her bedroom through a window at dawn. 

"He began talking about some disputes between me and my sister, before grabbing my hands and covering my mouth," she explained. 

The victim also added that the defendant tried to take her clothes off and forcibly covered her mouth before she managed to escape and hide in a nearby bathroom until he left the house.

Forensic reports confirmed the woman was assaulted

A forensic report presented in court confirmed that the woman had suffered scratches and bruises during the assault. 

Her husband, who was traveling at the time of the incident, said his wife called him after the attack. 

"She told me that a man sneaked into her bedroom from the window," he said. 

Now charged in the case, the defendant's sentencing is set to be held on October 28.  

Sexual harassment laws in the UAE

Though there are no specific laws or regulations that protect victims of sexual harassment in the UAE, the country's Penal Code still incriminates incidents of assault.

The code criminalizes any "scandalous and disgraceful act," which includes those involving sexual abuse and harassmentArticles 358 and 359 of the penal code provide more specific and clear-cut legislations when it comes to such incidents. 

Article 358:

"Whoever openly commits an indecent and disgraceful act shall be punished by detention for a period of at least six months. Whoever commits a disgraceful act with a girl or boy who has not completed fifteen years of age even if it is not committed openly, shall be punished by detention for at least a period of one year." 

Article 359: 

"Whoever attempts to disgrace a female by words or by deeds in a public street or frequented place, shall be punished by detention for a period not exceeding one year and by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dirhams or by either of these two penalties. The same penalty shall apply to any man who disguises himself in a woman's clothing and enters a place the entry into which is reserved for women. If a man in such a case commits a crime, it shall be considered an aggravating circumstance."