Feds indict two Afghan refugees on child sex, spousal assault charges

Feds indict two Afghan refugees on child sex, spousal assault charges

Feds indict two Afghan refugees on child sex, spousal assault charges

Two Afghan refugees were accused by a federal grand jury in Wisconsin on Wednesday, accusing them of committing crimes while residing at a local Army base after being transferred out of Afghanistan.

Bahrullah Noori, 20, is charged with three counts of engaging in a sex act with a minor and one count of attempting to participate in a sex act with a minor by force. The use of force is also alleged in one of the latter counts. Both of Noori’s alleged victims, according to investigators, were under the influence of a controlled substance.

The indictment claims that while at Fort McCoy, an Army station about 100 miles northwest of Madison, Noori touched the genitalia of one of his victims on three separate occasions. One of the alleged assaults took place in a barrack, while the other two occurred in a restroom.

Feds indict two Afghan refugees on child sex, spousal assault charges

In the second indictment, Mohammad Haroon Imaad, 32, is accused of strangling and choking his wife on Sept. 7. Imaad’s wife told soldiers through an interpreter that her husband had hit their children on “many instances” and that he “beat me many times in Afghanistan to the point where I lost vision in both eyes,” according to the complaint.

Imaad’s wife said in a second interview that her husband had raped her and emotionally and physically abused her. He threatened to “send her back to Afghanistan where the Taliban could deal with her,” she alleged, and also told her that “nine women have been slain since arriving at Fort McCoy, and she would be the tenth.”

Both Noori and Imaad appeared in court for the first time last week and were scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.

If convicted of the counts claiming use of force, Noori faces a mandatory minimum of 30 years in jail and up to 15 years if convicted of the other two charges. If convicted of the sole charge against him, Imaad may face a sentence of up to ten years in jail.

Staff managing the entrance of refugees to Fort McCoy reported “multiple incidents of underage females who presented as ‘married’ to adult Afghan men, as well as polygamous families” earlier this month, according to the Associated Press. It was unclear whether Noori was mentioned in any of the reports.

During the evacuation of Afghanistan last month, Republican lawmakers expressed concern that the Biden administration had allowed Afghans with criminal records or ties to terrorist organizations to be flown out of the war-torn country while thousands of others who assisted US-led NATO forces during the 20-year war against the Taliban were left to fend for themselves in hostile territory.

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On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that about 7% of the 60,000 Afghan nationals evacuated during the US troop withdrawal are US citizens, about 6% are lawful permanent residents, and about 3% have Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) intended for US military allies in Afghanistan.

According to Mayorkas, the remaining 50,000 Afghans include SIV candidates whose applications have not yet been approved, locally employed personnel, journalists, human rights activists, and other vulnerable Afghans who would be eligible for refugee status.

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