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Do not sleep in airplanes: Kazakh teenager talks about false sexual harassment charges

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29 January 2014, 17:05

Overview:

It has been a long journey home for the Kazakh teen who got himself arrested while sleeping. He was returning to Kazakhstan from the Taekwondo Championship in Mexico, but was arrested for sexual harassment when changing planes in London.

When the triple taekwondo champion of Kazakhstan Azamat Tenizbayev, 18, finally managed to come back home almost half a year later he met with journalist to tell them the details of the incident.

During his 11-hour flight from the North American continent, the exhausted teen fell asleep and accidentally put his head on the shoulder of his neighbor. But the 24 y.o. Israeli lady (not British as reported earlier) considered it as sexual harassment and reported the teen.

Azamat was arrested by British police in the transit area of Heathrow Airport. A local public defender persuaded the teenager to plea guilty by promising that it would get him deported to Kazakhstan fast. It did not, however.

Azamat’s family changed the lawyer, and the teenager was acquitted by the jury trial on January 6. The "victim" did not come to the court in person and chose to use an online conference instead.

This unfortunate incident cost Azamat’s family over $60 thousand. The Director of the Taekwondo Federation of Kazakhstan Vyacheslav Kim promised to compensate the family for all the expenses.

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