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Indian cabbie in Australia acquitted of molesting teenage passenger

Canberra, Thu, 17 Nov 2011 ANI

Canberra, Nov 17 (ANI): An Indian-origin taxi driver in Australia has been acquitted of charges of molesting an 18-year-old female passenger.


Satpal Singh Dhaliwal was earlier charged with two counts of unlawful and indecent assault after being accused of touching the passenger as she sat intoxicated in the back of his cab on January 6 this year.


Dhaliwal wept in the dock in Brisbane District Court, as the 12-member jury delivered its verdict after less than an hour and a half of deliberation, the Courier Mail reports.


Lawyers for Dhaliwal, during the three-day trial, maintained their client never touched the teenager.


Barrister Tony Entriken said the girl's allegations were levelled after Dhaliwal refused to accept her offer of only 35 dollars in cash to cover the 50 dollar fare displayed on the taxi's meter.


The prosecution said Dhaliwal's so-called victim claimed she had been so grateful that he had turned off his taxi's meter when she asked him to stop to buy food.


Prosecutor Sarah Klemm said that just before dropping the girl to her home, Dhaliwal allegedly asked the teenager for sex, and assaulted her when she refused.


Klemm said Dhaliwal indecently assaulted the girl by reaching into the back seat of the taxi on two occasions and touching her leg, including once up near her underpants.


Dhaliwal, however, pleaded not guilty. (ANI)



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