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Prosecutor’s Appeal Verdict in Hamtramck Student Sexual Assault Case

— December 25, 2019

An appeal is filed in case against Hamtramck community activist.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has filed an appeal in the case of 37-year-old Ibrahim Aljahim who was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree with a mentally impaired 18-year-old student.  In November, all charges against Aljahim, a former Hamtramck community liaison officer at the Oakwood International Academy, were dismissed by Judge Alexis G. Krot, a Democrat, who admitted Aljahim’s political connections helped her to secure her position.  Aljahim had also been a chaplain for Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

According to prosecutors, on September 18, officials at Oakland International Academy’s high school in Hamtramck contacted Hamtramck Police about an alleged incident in which Aljahim had engaged in oral sex with the student.  During a period of questioning by assistant Wayne County prosecutor, Nida Samona, and defense attorney Roger Farinha, the teen recounted what had allegedly happened.  He insisted the two had participated in a sexual exchange.

Prosecutor's Appeal Verdict in Hamtramck Student Sexual Assault Case
Photo by Banter Snaps on Unsplash

Farinha said Aljahim did not commit sexual misconduct and was, instead, attempting to help the student who had been abused by other students.  According to Farinha, other students had exposed the alleged victim’s private areas and took photos of them.  Farinha reported this to the school principal, Larry Cowger.

When rumors began to surface about the alleged inappropriate conduct, Aljahim then reported the stories himself to clear this name, according to Farinha, who said during the hearing, “Ibrahim did his job in protecting the children.”

When Aljahim was initially arraigned, Cowger submitted a statement saying, “We obviously are very saddened and shocked by this allegation and it’s something that we don’t want our image to be associated with.  We first reported this to the police when it came to our attention and provided police with security camera footage and witnesses gave interviews.”

Cowger added, “He is someone who is well-known in the community, has a lot of connections.  He was hired because of that, so that he could be a go-between to forge better partnerships.”  Aljahim campaigned with Bernie Sanders during Sanders’ campaign stop in Hamtramck and is well-known throughout the community.

During the hearing Thursday, the student testified that in a separate incident, another student “had removed his pants, exposing him, and took a photograph of his privates.”  During the same hearing, video footage was shown of Aljahim and the student going in and outside the school multiple times the morning in question.  Farinha said the video and testimony showed there would not be enough time for a sexual act to have taken place between the two.

However, the student testified that he was “coughing up hair after the alleged assault.”  He said, “his Islamic religious faith and the Quran compel him to obey his elders.”  Wayne County prosecutors pressed that the teen “was mentally disabled and that Aljahim was “in a position of authority over the victim.”  During the preliminary examination, a certified copy of a medical record was entered into evidence showing the student’s low IQ and developmental delays.  A relative also testified about the student’s disabilities.


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