New York: A 25-year-old Indian sportsman, who was arrested here on charges of sexually abusing a minor girl, has avoided trial by pleading guilty and is awaiting deportation.
Tanveer Hussain, a snowshoe racer from Kashmir, was charged with first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanour for “engaging in a passionate kiss” with a 12-year-old victim and “touching her in an intimate area over her clothing”.
He was arrested on March 1 following the incident which took place on February 27 at a village bed and breakfast.
The athlete had travelled to Saranac Lake in upstate New York, from Kashmir, with fellow athlete Abid Hussain Khan, to participate in the World Snowshoe Championships, which was held between February 23 and 25.
Hussain entered the plea in a Essex County Court, the district attorney in New York State has said.
“From day one of this investigation, the child witness has been degraded, called a liar and victimised by people who supported Hussain financially and emotionally,” Essex County Deputy Attorney Kristy Sprague said in a statement.
“This plea of guilty is an admission of guilt, and Tanveer Hussain admitted to his criminal conduct involving a child, which was done under oath and with aid of [legal] counsel and an interpreter,” she said.
Sprague expressed hope that this admission of guilt alleviates the stress and anguish the child and her family have endured.
“She has been vindicated, and shame on those who publicly attacked her credibility and reputation,” the District Attorney said.
The Essex County grand jury had earlier indicted Hussain on one count of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
He faced two to seven years in jail and a post-release supervision for three to 10 years.
As part of his plea agreement, the other two counts were dismissed, an official statement said. Hussain will now be deported as his visa expired in August.