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Indian masseur guilty of indecent assault

April 06, 2006 15:56 IST
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A masseur with India's Commonwealth Games team was given a suspended one-month jail sentence in Melbourne on Thursday for indecently assaulting a teenage cleaner at the Games village, court officials said.

Dewan Nabi, who was excluded from the team, was charged with indecent and unlawful assault after a 16-year-old girl complained to police about an incident at the Games athletes village last month.

Melbourne Magistrates Court judge Charles Rozencwajg found 35-year-old Nabi, married with a young son, guilty on the charge of indecent assault and sentenced him to one month in jail.

That sentence was suspended for a year, a court spokeswoman said. The unlawful assault charge was dismissed, she said.

The spokeswoman also said that Nabi's name was placed on a list of registered sex offenders and that he must stay in regular contact with Victoria state police for the next eight years.

The girl, who could not be identified, was among a group of school children who had volunteered to work at the athletes village in suburban Melbourne.

The victim told the court that Nabi started kissing her and touched her breast when she went to his room to collect towels. Nabi denied the charges.

Rozencwajg said he found the girl's evidence to be consistent, although there had been inconsistencies in evidence from some witnesses.

Nabi's lawyers had asked for a fine to be imposed but Rozencwajg said that would not reflect the seriousness of the charges. His lawyer Paul Horvath said outside the court that his client had been excluded from taking part in the Commonwealth Games and faced more humiliation when he returns home.

"He's disappointed with the finding and obviously he's been away from his family, he's been excluded from the team he came across with, so he's been isolated and that's been a difficult thing for him," Horvath told reporters.


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