Manager wins appeal, cleared of molesting cleaner

Court overturns jail sentence, acquits man of molesting cleaner he had hired on hourly base to tidy flat

Dubai: A manager won his appeal as a court cleared him of sexually abusing a house cleaner whom he had hired to clean his flat.

The 51-year-old Indian manager had called up a housecleaning company that provides cleaners on an hourly basis and hired a cleaner for three hours in July 2017.

A 24-year-old Filipina cleaner went over to the manager’s flat in Dubai Investment Park and started cleaning the washroom first.

Shortly after that, the manager asked the cleaner to stop cleaning and to sit beside him but she refused, according to the case.

When the Indian manager told the cleaner that he had hired her to work for an hour and to offer him company for two hours, the Filipina claimed that she rushed to the washroom and locked herself inside.

Then she called up her work supervisor and told her about the incident. The supervisor advised her to leave the flat instantly.

When the cleaner came out of the washroom to leave the flat, she claimed that the manager abused her and gave her Dh50 to keep silent.

After leaving the flat, the cleaner reported the matter to the police.

In October, the Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced the Indian manager to three months in jail followed by deportation. He had pleaded not guilty and denied molesting the cleaner.

The manager appealed his judgement and sought to have his imprisonment overturned before the Dubai Appeal Court.

Prosecutors also appealed the punishment and asked the appellate court to stiffen the man’s punishment.

Presiding judge Saeed Salem Bin Sarm dismissed the prosecutors’ appeal and accepted that of the suspect.

According to the appellate ruling, presiding judge Bin Sarm overturned the Indian’s jail term and acquitted him for lack of strong evidence.

The 51-year-old pleaded innocent and accused the Filipina of fabricating her claims.

The Filipina alleged that her supervisor sent her to the man’s flat for cleaning it for three hours.

“I went to the flat and started cleaning the washroom first … then he asked me to stop working and sit beside him. When I told him that I had been hired to clean the apartment, he said that he had hired me to clean the apartment for an hour and spend two hours with him. I felt scared and locked myself in the washroom, and informed my supervisor about the incident … she instructed me to leave the flat instantly. When I was leaving the flat, the suspect groped me. I cried and felt scared. He gave me Dh50 … then I left the flat and waited for my supervisor at the building’s reception. Once she came, we alerted the police about the incident,” she told prosecutors.

The supervisor told prosecutors that the cleaner was crying over the phone when she spoke to her.

A policeman testified to prosecutors that the suspect was drunk when they apprehended him.

The man described the cleaner’s allegations as “unfounded”.

The appellate ruling remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court.

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