A jury has convicted Afghan national Mohammed Tariq for sexually abusing a 3-year-old girl at a Marine Corps refugee camp in Quantico, Virginia.
Tariq, who was not related to the child, was seen kissing and touching her by a pair of Marines at the refugee camp. When the child tried to get away from him, he continued “engage(ing) in sexual contact.”
The man and victim had both been evacuated during the Biden administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Tariq faces a maximum term of life in prison and is due to be sentenced on April 26th.
“People who come to our country seeking haven from tyranny and terrorism deserve to live here in safety,” said Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, referencing the victim.
Court records show, according to the New York Post, that Tariq had argued to law enforcement that his actions were permissible as “part of his culture.”
The Afghan refugee convicted for molesting a 3-year-old in Virginia tried to get evidence suppressed in court. His defense said he’s completely illiterate & didn’t know what he was doing when he waived his Miranda rights. He told law enforcement the molestation was his culture. pic.twitter.com/tfk5C8EqCV
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) January 26, 2022
Afghan Refugee Convicted of Assaulting Girl
Tariq’s conviction for molesting a 3-year-old girl hasn’t been the only criminal issue to face a handful of Afghan refugees since the August withdrawal.
This past September, two Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin were indicted for violent crimes – one for sexual assault of a minor, another for assaulting his spouse by strangling and suffocating her – that took place while they were living at the military base.
Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy face federal charges for alleged sex acts with minor and spousal abusehttps://t.co/KazWsQsEmS
— Wag the Poso (@JackPosobiec) September 23, 2021
The following month, Zabihullah Mohmand, a 19-year-old Afghan male placed in Montana by the U.S. State Department, was arrested and charged with rape.
Mohmand has maintained that the incident was consensual and he pled not guilty in November.
Afghan refugee charged with rape in Montana, governor says, demanding resettlement halthttps://t.co/HEo7D0wmSM
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 21, 2021
Following the Mohmand charges, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte demanded a halt to the Biden administration’s resettlement program.
“I’m calling on President Biden to immediately halt resettlements to Montana until federal agencies provide me with adequate assurance that Afghans coming to Montana are fully-vetted in accordance with federal law,” Gianforte demanded.
NEW: Montana Gov. Gianforte’s office confirms that an Afghan refugee placed in Montana has been charged with sexual assault.
He calls on Biden admin to stop all resettlements until he is assured all Afghans are “fully vetted in accordance with federal law. pic.twitter.com/ejXV8ziLWq
— Adam Shaw (@AdamShawNY) October 21, 2021
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki insisted in the days after the withdrawal that “no one” is coming into the country without proper vetting.
“I can absolutely assure you that no one is coming into the United States of America who has not been through a thorough screening and background check process,” she said.
Questioned by CBS’s @EdOKeefe about the “concerns” surrounding the importance of thorough vetting for all Afghan refugees, Jen Psaki insists “that no one is coming into the United States of America who has not been through a thorough screening and background check process.” pic.twitter.com/FgJK0NWLFi
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 1, 2021
In the aforementioned Tariq case, one simple vetting question could have been: Do you feel sexually assaulting a minor is part of your culture?
While individuals like Tariq have been rescued from Afghanistan, the State Department is claiming that under a dozen Americans remain left behind in the Taliban-controlled country.
A number that should be taken with a grain of salt, considering they claimed for weeks to have only left around 100 Americans behind when it turns out “479 Americans and 450 green-card holders” were aided by the Department since the evacuation according to the Post.