An Afghan refugee living in Australia had all charges against him dropped after a Geelong judge said that “cultural differences” made it difficult to find the registered sex offender guilty of attempted kidnapping.
Ali Jaffari, 35, faced a judge in Australian court on charges of child stealing, attempted child-stealing, and unlawful assault. The Muslim man stated during the proceedings that his attempt to kidnap a 4-year-old girl would have been acceptable in his native Afghanistan, so he wasn’t aware he was doing anything wrong. Jaffari was already found guilty of two separate indecent assault charges this past August, stemming from a November 2012 incident, and had to register as a sex offender.
This attempted kidnapping happened in January 2013 when Jaffari tried to steal a four-year-old girl at a park in front of her father and brother. According to reports, Jaffari approached the young girl, took a cricket bat out of her hand, and started to drag her away from where she was playing.
“He then grabbed the child’s hand and began to lead her away before she looked up, saw it wasn’t her father, started crying and pulled her hand away,” said Sergeant Brooke Shears. “The victim’s father turned, saw what was happening and yelled at Jaffari, “What do you think you’re doing? The victim ran crying to her father and he comforted her while Jaffari walked off around the oval.”
Shears said that despite Jaffari’s claims that cultural differences were the reason behind the attempted kidnapping, it’s clear that he knew exactly what he was doing.
“He took the child by the hand and led her four or five steps away from her father before the child realized [sic] and started crying,” said Shears.
The judge said that there was reasonable doubt in this case, and even though Jaffari is already a convicted sex offender, anyone would have a hard time proving that he was guilty.