Tanveer Hussain, a 24-year -old Indian athlete, who was in the United States of America for a snowshoe competition, has been held under judicial custody for alleged sexual assault on a minor girl.
Hussain was arrested by the police after the girl’s parents pressed charges for abuse. As per the complaint, the incident took place at a small village of Saranac Lake in New York, where the World Snowshoe Championships was held in February.
The charges against Mr. Hussain include endangering the welfare of a child, that were a result of him engaging in a passionate kiss with the 12-year-old victim.
“There was no claim or accusation of force by the accused, the charges are a result of the age difference between the two individuals,” the police told the AP news agency.
Hussain has denied charges and pleaded not guilty in the case. Defending him, his lawyer Brian Barrett said, “They are merely allegations alone. Not only is he innocent, he is presumed innocent by law. That is how he should be seen in the community and by anyone paying attention in this case.”
The athlete, who belongs to Kashmir, was initially denied a visa along with a fellow athlete Abid, around the same, US President Donald Trump had signed an executive order banning travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries. Even though India was not part of the list of banned nations, the denial was seen as an association related to Trump’s orders.
They were eventually allowed to travel after lobbying and campaigning of US senators and activists, including Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau.