London, Jan 13(ANI): An Imam of a mosque in Stoke-on-Trent, England, has been accused of serially raping a young boy during visits to the mosque for religious lessons in 2009.
According to the Daily Mail, Mohammed Hanif Khan is alleged to have sexually assaulted the boy, who was 12 years old at the time, inside the mosque.
He is also charged with the attempted rape of and sexual activity with the boy's cousin, who was 15 at the time.pening the case today, prosecutor Tariq Shakor Khan told the jury that in police interviews in October 2009 the boy said that he was singled out by Hanif following the evening prayer on about half a dozen occasions, the first of which was in around August 2009.
"On each occasion it happened at the mosque, usually after the formal prayers in the main prayer hall. The defendant would request him to lay out his red prayer mat in a different part of the mosque. That is when the remaining prayer would be completed individually and not in congregation," the newspaper quoted Shakor, as saying.
"He seems to suggest that usually the defendant would take him through the door marked private and into the sitting room area, and into the room with cushions on the floor used by committee members."
"On occasions, then passing through another door in the big room, the classroom, going to the corner at the back," he added.
Shakor also said that the boy told police in his interviews that the defendant was considered a very important figure among the Muslim community.
"He says his family trusted him and the defendant had a strong following. Such was that following that people would be prepared to die for him," Shakor said.
The court also heard how the Imam attempted to rape the boy's cousin while he stayed at his house.
The trial was adjourned for the day and will resume tomorrow. (ANI)