(PatriotWise.com)- An Afghan refugee who molested a 3-year-old girl at a Marine Corps refugee camp in September was convicted last week.
Mohammed Tariq, 24, was found guilty on Friday of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old refugee while the two were housed at Camp Upshur, a refugee camp for Afghan evacuees in Virginia.
Tariq, who allegedly worked alongside US troops in Afghanistan, was seen by two Marines kissing and inappropriately touching the child. When the child attempted to pull away, Tariq grabbed her and continued to molest her.
According to court records, Tariq later told police that he did nothing wrong because his actions were “part of his culture.”
Tariq’s trial was held on Thursday at the US District Court in Alexandria. Jurors delivered their guilty verdict the following afternoon.
US Attorney Jessica Aber, who oversaw the case, thanked the Marines and the FBI for their commitment to upholding the ideal that those coming to America seeking a haven from tyranny “deserve to live here in safety.”
Aber lauded the “resilience and courage” of both the victim and her family for speaking out against Tariq.
The attorney for the child molester wrote in court records that her client was one of the Afghans who worked alongside US troops before the Taliban took over Afghanistan. He fled the country through Qatar and Germany before arriving at Camp Upshur.
Be that as it may, that doesn’t give him the right to molest a child.
What is not clear, however, is what type of work Mohammed Tariq did with US troops. He is from a remote province. He doesn’t speak English. And he is unable to read or write in any language.
It is also unclear whether Tariq underwent any kind of vetting before he was permitted to enter the United States. According to an October memo from Senate Republicans, nearly all of those tens of thousands of Afghans evacuated out of Kabul last year were not properly screened.
Tariq’s attorney had asked the court to suppress his statement claiming molesting children was part of his culture. But the court denied her motion.
Mohammed Tariq faces up to life in prison. Though the DOJ noted actual sentences for federal crimes are usually less than the maximum.
His sentencing is scheduled for April 26.