Thursday , May 6 2021

Teachers in the mosque were punished in part because of sexual assaults on 6-year-old girls

By Declan Brennan and Brion Hoban

A teacher at a Dublin mosque that displays "unhealthy interest" in a six-year-old girl who continues to be persecuted has received a partially suspended sentence.

50-year-old Abdur Rashid was sentenced last January by a jury at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Trial with a sexual assault at the mosque on December 2015.

Former citizen of Leitrim, then from Blessington Court, Dublin, denied the allegations.

Judge Pauline Codd sentenced Rashid to 18 months in prison but suspended the last four months for a period of one year after he followed directions from the Experiments Service and maintained peace and was kind when he was released.

Guard Paul Griffin told Pieter LeVert BL, the prosecution, that the child's mother picked him up from school when he saw something was wrong. The boy told his mother that his teacher had touched his genital area.

The woman immediately confronted the Rashid and she showed that she had taught ablution girls, Islamic ritual procedures for washing body parts.

The court heard that after his arrest the married father told the garda that he had held the girl on his lap and kissed him like he would kiss his own daughter. He denied kissing him with his tongue and denied sexual harassment to him.

Dublin Circuit Circuit Court.

He admitted that because his reading performance was very good he raised it to kiss him but he slipped his hand and finally held his thigh.

Asked if he had lost his senses at that time and acted on encouragement he told gardaí "I can't say".

The report on the impact of the victim from the girl's mother said the victim was diagnosed with anxiety after the attack. This caused him to suffer from a severe stomach ache which made him cry.

He had nightmares about his teacher coming to take him away and was afraid to go to school for a while after the attack.

Damien Colgan SC, defending, said Bangladeshis had previously lived in Carrick-on-Shannon before moving to Dublin where he worked as a chef.

The court heard that psychological reports stated that the Rashid currently fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for Schziophrenia and delusional and psychologically vulnerable disorders. Further psychiatric reports show that, at present, he is not suffering from a mental illness.

Judge Codd said Rashid had shown "unhealthy interest" in children before the attack. He said the man was guilty of "massive exploitation of innocent children".

He said this was a burdensome factor in this case along with the age of the victim, the emotional and psychological effects on him and the misuse of the teacher / student relationship.

Judge Codd said the mitigating factors in this case were the fact that the Rashid was psychologically vulnerable, his lack of previous beliefs, his wife and family, and that he became a citizen of Bangladesh could make his imprisonment more difficult.

He praised his son and mother for their courage to provide evidence during the trial. He canceled the sentence until January 30 this year when he first entered detention.

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