An Indian man was on Monday sentenced to death by a UAE court for raping a seven-year-old Emirati girl at an Abu Dhabi school where he worked as a cleaner.
The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court bench, presided over by Judge Sayyed Abdel Basir, handed down the capital punishment, which was unanimously reached with two other judges, to the 56-year-old Indian school concierge.
He was found guilty of three charges of rape, sexual assault and making killing threats, The Khaleej Times reported.
The court referred the civil lawsuit to the competent civil court. The family of the Emirati girl has been claiming Dirham 5 million in damages.
Earlier, counsel Hussein Al Jaziri, on behalf of the family, argued in the pleas he submitted to the court that the private school was also to be blamed in the pupil's ordeal as it failed to secure the safety of one of its students because of its shortcoming in the control and surveillance of its workers.
"The girl and her parents have suffered psychological damage and trauma following the incident. They will continue to suffer because of what happened," Al Jaziri said.
According to the prosecution records, the incident happened on April 14 when the accused dragged the girl against her will to the school kitchen where he raped her.
She had been on her way back from the administration office where she dropped some papers as per her teacher's request.
"This is in itself a violation of the educational convention," argued Al Jaziri.
The incident was discovered when the girl's aunt found her laying down on the floor after she returned home from school. She noticed the girl had a bad smell on her and asked what was wrong. The girl eventually spoke up and told her mother that it was a worker at her school who raped her.
The girl said that the worker used to sexually assault her. She told her mother that she did not tell them or her teachers about his doings before because she was afraid of him as he had threatened to kill her and her mother.
The prosecution had sought the maximum penalty.
The accused denied in the interrogation of having raped or assaulted the girl. He alleged he only hugged and touched her inappropriately.
According to the forensic report, the girl's examination showed she was raped and sexually abused.
The verdict will now automatically go to the appeal as per article 230 of the Criminal Procedures Law.