A 21-year-old man in the UAE has been jailed for one year after sexually abusing his best friend.
The man was charged with sexually abusing an Emirati student, who is also his best friend, in the desert area of Al Ruwayyah.
The incident occurred after the 20-year-old student called the accused back in February, asking him if they could meet up.
The accused took the student for a ride at 3 A.M. towards a desert area as they chatted in the vehicle, according to local media.
Upon arrival to the area, the two exited the vehicle as they continued chatting. The accused then laid a mat on the sand, and asked the student if they could have sex, but he refused.
He then forced himself on his best friend, and sexually abused him at knife-point.
"We discussed several topics and when we talked about sex, he asked to have sex with me. I refused. Then he threatened me with a knife and forced himself on me," the victim testified.
As soon as he got home, the victim reported the incident to the police.
The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the man for sexually abusing and molesting the victim.
"Prior to this incident, we had a very strong friendship although my parents had constantly advised me to stay away from him," he added.
The victim also added that the man had "apologized" for what he had done.
The ruling remains "subject to appeal before the Appeal Court," according to Gulf News.
Sexual harassment laws in the UAE
The UAE's Penal Code incriminates any "scandalous and disgraceful act."
Articles 358 and 359 of the penal code provide clear-cut laws when it comes to certain 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."