A Muslim immigrant gaining the trust of vulnerable girls, those from dysfunctional families and runaways. Plying the young girls with drink and drugs till they became addicted and would do anything for a fix. Using the underage girls for his sexual gratification. Prostituting the schoolgirls out for money to a network of filthy paedophiles.
Yes, it does sound very familiar doesn’t it. It could be describing one of many instances of Muslim grooming that have featured on these pages in the past. Only this one isn’t from Rochdale, Bradford, Burnley or any other of the numerous towns up and down the UK where Muslim grooming has taken place. This is thousand’s of miles away, across the Atlantic Ocean in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Muslim grooming epidemic has hit America
Sex-trafficking case involves Iraqi refugee
Man accused of prostituting teen girls
A refugee from Iraq living in Sioux Falls kept four young girls drunk or high while prostituting them for money and drugs, a federal prosecutor told jurors Thursday as his trial came to a close.
Mohammed Sharif Alaboudi also beat the women between September 2011 and October 2012 and had sex with at least two of them, assistant U.S. attorney Kevin Koliner said.
“This man used drugs and girls as currency, as objects,” Koliner said. “He will hold that light bulb pipe to the mouth of a 15-year-old child so she can try it for the first time.”
Alaboudi is accused of horrible acts, his lawyer Stacy Kooistra acknowledged. Kooistra sought to undermine the government’s case by pointing to inconsistencies in the victims’ testimonies at trial this week.
“Specificity, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve been chasing that all week,” he said.
Kooistra also questioned the veracity of Alaboudi’s alleged partner, Emmanuel Nyuon, who Kooistra said avoided prison time for raping a minor by agreeing to testify against Alaboudi.
Both men were arrested in 2012. Undercover detectives arrested Nyuon after he delivered a 14-year-old girl to a Sioux Falls motel for prostitution, and they uncovered a scheme by Alaboudi and Nyuon to use the Internet to find clients for underage prostitutes.
Alaboudi is charged with one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking with a child, a count of sex trafficking with a child and two counts of sex trafficking by means of force, fraud or coercion.
Both lawyers depicted Alaboudi as someone who had taken little advantage of an opportunity to come to the U.S. Koliner said Alaboudi had been granted asylum to come to the U.S. from Iraq and was given disability retirement. But he ended up in a dingy one-room Sioux Falls apartment, from which he took advantage of underage runaways and homeless teens. “This defendant was looking to catch them as they fell through the cracks,” Koliner said.
Kooistra urged the jury not to be swayed by lurid details in the case but to focus rigorously on evidence and to weigh whether the government met its burden of proof. He said the allegations against Alaboudi “makes this hard to listen to, hard to think about.”
In anticipation of Kooistra’s closing argument, Koliner used his own time before the jury beforehand to attack the notion the various young victims would have gotten together to align their stories in a conspiracy to convict Alaboudi.
“What a terrible coincidence for this defendant,” he scoffed. “You don’t need a lawyer to tell you who to believe.”
In rebuttal, assistant U.S. attorney Jeff Clapper sought to explain apparent inconsistencies in narratives and dates. Nobody kept a detailed calendar, he said, but when they testified to events that occurred during more than a year, the victims were able to narrow the time line to a range of several months. Also, building trust with fearful, skeptical and embarrassed young abuse victims is a painstaking process for investigators. It often requires multiple interviews, and information comes out in fits and starts.
“Just because they had issues with drugs and who they associated with doesn’t mean this man gets to use and abuse them,” Clapper said. “Their credibility has been attacked throughout this case. Just because they didn’t disclose all the facts before they were discovered doesn’t mean this didn’t happen to them.”
Koliner characterized Alaboudi as banking on his ability to intimidate the girls he prostituted.
“I’m sure he never thought these scared little girls would ever come in here and tell you what happened to them.” In truth, the victims as runaways and drug addicts have histories of fleeing difficult situations. “But they didn’t do that this time,” Koliner said.