A cleaner in Dubai has been accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old autistic boy near the swimming pool of his parents' villa.
The 21-year-old man reportedly raped the young boy after luring him into a secluded room, Khaleej Times reported.
The assault took place in December 2017 and was reported to Al Barsha Police Station at the time. The boy's mother learned about the vile incident three days later.
"An incident of sexual assault was reported at a park near a villa. We moved to the scene and heard from the victim's mother that her son had been lured to enter a room by the cleaner. She said her autistic boy was sexually assaulted," the policeman on the case said, according to Khaleej Times.
Initially, the defendant denied the charges against him but later admitted to the assault.
The suspect claimed it was the boy who had come to him. However, the boy told his mother that the man approached him while he was riding his bicycle near the swimming pool.
During the investigation, the mother revealed the details of the story, as told by her son, in which she explained that the man lured the boy to the water pump room nearby, locked the door and sexually assaulted him.
During a court hearing, the man pleaded "not guilty" before the Dubai Court of First Instance. However, a DNA trace confirmed the boy's story.
"The cleaner's DNA traces were found on the victim's trousers, as shown in the report from the general directorate of criminal evidence and criminology," according to Khaleej Times.
Prosecutors have charged the man with rape.
The next hearing will take place on May 15.
Sexual harassment in the UAE
In the UAE, there exists no special legislation protecting individuals from sexual harassment. However, the country's Penal Code does incriminate any "scandalous and disgraceful act."
In fact, Articles 358 and 359 of the penal code provide clear-cut laws when it comes to certain incidents.
"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."
"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."