A Detroit imam was sentenced today to 35 to 50 years in prison for raping three girls.
Mohammed Masroor, who used to teach Islam to students in Detroit and Hamtramck, was convicted earlier this month on 15 counts in the sexual assaults of three young girls, who were his relatives, in 2000.
The case drew attention because the Wayne County judge handling the case, Michael Hathaway, ruled that victims, who are now adults, and other witnesses could testify wearing the niqab, a religious face veil that covers the entire head except for a narrow slit that shows the eyes. It may be the first time in the U.S. that a judge allowed women to testify while wearing a niqab.
Judges in England and Canada ruled last year in separate cases that women could not testify wearing the niqab. But prosecutors in Wayne County said women in Masroor’s case should be allowed to testify wearing the veil, and Judge Hathaway agreed.
Prosecutors said Masroor used his knowledge of religion to manipulate his victims, who ranged in age from 10 to 13 at the time of the assaults.