An Indian man based in Dubai recently lost his court appeal after molesting a six-year-old boy at a mosque in the emirate.
The incident was first reported to Bur Dubai Police Station by the child's father on December 8, 2017. Earlier this year, the man stood trial for the crime and vehemently denied the allegations brought against him.
However, the victim's brother - who is also a witness in the case - confirmed the young victim's story, claiming he saw the defendant grabbing the boy by the waist and inappropriately touching him.
Despite his appeal, the man was found guilty and sentenced to three months in jail. He will also be deported after serving his prison sentence.
The man appealed the stated verdict, but the Court of Appeals has upheld it. The appellate court ruling is now final, Khaleej Times reported.
The Court of Cassation did not challenge the ruling within the provided deadline. According to public prosecution records, the defendant inappropriately touched the little boy twice after he spotted him waiting for his father in the area.
In his statement to police, the victim's parent, who's an Egyptian engineer based in the UAE, said:
"I went with my sons for Friday prayer. When I walked out of the mosque, I saw a man touching my son. I approached him and asked him about what he did. He said he was only playing with him. I scolded him and told him to leave immediately," the father said, according to Khaleej Times.
"However, at home, my son told his mother that the accused had also touched him inappropriately another time but he was too scared to tell me," he added.
Dubai Police have long been fighting against sexual abuse of children
In recent years, several cases of sexual abuse targeting children were reported in the emirate.
In response to the alarming spike in similar cases, Dubai Police and authorities have launched several campaigns in an effort to raise awareness among both parents and young children.
In one campaign, officials launched kid-friendly videos aimed at educating children about sexual abuse, providing advice on how to deal with strangers in public areas.
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."