- Middle East/North Africa
The public prosecution has referred a primary school teacher in Edfu, Aswan to criminal court for allegedly molesting a first grade girl.
Prosecution spokesperson Adel al-Saeed said in a statement published by state-run MENA news service that investigations indicate the teacher sexually assaulted the student on multiple occasions. The parents initially filed a complaint with the school's headmaster, who did not refer the matter to the authorities until the teacher reportedly molested the child again, threatening to beat her if she told her parents.
Police say that the medical examiner's report verifies that the child was sexually assaulted.
Saeed said the teacher has been remanded into custody pending investigation. The case has been referred to the Qena Appeals Court to set a trial date.
The maximum penalty for sexual molestation of children by their caretakers is life imprisonment.
Child molestation is rarely reported in Egypt. Observers believe that most cases are dealt with privately, through family negotiations or local councils, to avoid filing an official complaint.
The Egyptian Centre for Human Rights said recently that three cases of molestation of primary school girls have been reported since the school year started in September.