( AP ) - Two Emirati men are accused of kidnapping two French boys who were headed home from a shopping mall and sexually assaulting one of them.
The defendants - aged 35 and 18 - briefly appeared in court on Wednesday where one was appointed a new lawyer. The other defendant's attorney did not appear in court for the hearing, which lasted a few minutes.
The two are accused of kidnapping the boys and sexually assaulting one of them - a 15-year-old - in July. Last week, the men pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping with deceit and illicit sexual intercourse.
A third defendant is being tried in a juvenile court, where the proceedings are closed to the public.
The charges against the two adult defendants carry the death penalty if convicted. It was not immediately clear what sentence the third defendant would face if convicted in juvenile court.
The Emirates' legal system prohibits the media from naming the suspects until a verdict is reached in the case.
According to court documents, the juvenile defendant allegedly offered the two French boys a ride home from a Dubai mall. The two boys got in the car and were later joined by the other two defendants, the documents said.
The group drove to the edge of the Dubai desert, where the three defendants allegedly threatened the boys and took turns sexually assaulting one of them in the car while the other was told to stay behind a sand dune, according to the court documents.