Just a friendly game of catch, huh? Man accused of groping woman at sea
The accused claimed he was merely trying to catch the ball when he "accidentally" groped the woman. (Shutterstock)
The 27-year-old Syrian driver, U.I., was said to have molested the 31-year-old Macedonian woman while she was taking a dip at Jumeirah Open Beach in May.
The defendant pleaded not guilty contending before the Dubai Court of First Instance that he touched the woman by mistake while playing with a ball with his friends.
Defending himself before presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi on Sunday, U.I. claimed that he accidentally bumped into the woman and did not have any criminal intention.
He claimed in courtroom seven that he apologised to the Macedonian woman, who waived her complaint at the police station.
The 31-year-old woman testified to prosecutors that the incident took place when she went with her friends to spend a day at the beach.
“My friends stayed on shore while I swam in the deep. I was around 12 metres away from the shore when I spotted three men, including the defendant, playing with a ball. Suddenly one of them threw the ball towards me as a sign to invite me to play with them. I held the ball and threw it back to them and declined to play with them. I was swimming back to the shore when I felt the suspect groping me under the water. When I asked him how dare he touch me, he took out the ball from the water and told me, ‘I wanted to catch the ball’. I continued swimming back to the shore, when the suspect and his friends disturbed my friends,” claimed the woman.
Records said the Macedonian woman reported the matter to the police.
The claimant’s two women friends, a British and a Sudanese, confirmed that the three men, including the suspect, behaved badly with them.
A ruling will be heard on February 8.