Page last updated at 11:47 GMT, Friday, 24 February 2006

Colombia man 'jailed over grope'

A bicycle courier in Colombia has been given a four-year jail sentence for grabbing a woman pedestrian's bottom, a TV station has reported.

A judge's ruling - criticised by some as being too harsh - ruled the courier had committed an abusive sexual act.

Diana Marcela Diaz told RCN that the courier had cycled off after groping her, but had been caught by passers-by.

When he was arrested, she was given the option of slapping him, letting him go, or filing a complaint.

She had chosen to set a precedent that would stop sexist behaviour, she said.

RCN described the sentence as historic, but some lawyers condemned it as excessive.

A female member of the national ombudsman's office said the courier had only acted out of lust.

"He didn't use violence or commit a sexual act," she was quoted as saying.

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