Aberdeen, SD: Silence about pre-Christmas trial of Somali refugee (Twin Falls redux?) guilty of attempted sexual assault
Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 4, 2017
Update January 5th: Be sure to see my next installment of this story, here.
A newly arrived Somali refugee*** who court records show had arrived in Aberdeen, SD to work for the controversial meat packing plant there was found guilty by a jury on December 20th of attempting to sexually assault a special-needs woman.
Read the story! And, ask yourselves, why didn’t the local media report on the case?
Did it have something to do with the controversy roiling there among citizens who were vigorously opposing a plan to make Aberdeen a new resettlement site (only Sioux Falls and Huron were getting direct resettlements), a plan supported by the mayor, as we reported last April.BTW, for new readers, my title refers to the sexual assault case that the media and elected officials downplayed in Twin Falls, Idaho earlier in 2016.
Here is what Leo Hohmann (WND) learned yesterday. After you read the whole incredible story, see what I have to say below about the timeline.
A refugee newly arrived from Somalia has been tried and convicted for attempting to sexually assault a special-needs woman while she was sitting outside of a home for the disabled in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
Liban Mohamed, 39, was in the United States for only about a week when he tried to force himself on a 31-year-old woman with severe disabilities. He is not a U.S. citizen, but whether he will be deported in the wake of his conviction remains unclear.
The trial for Mohamed was held just a few days before Christmas and not a word of the conviction has made it into the local media, residents of Aberdeen told WND on Tuesday.
Mohamed speaks no English and required two interpreters at trial, according to the state’s attorney who prosecuted the case.
“I do know he lived in Aberdeen,” prosecutor Christopher White told WND. “The day that it happened, he was staying at the White House Inn hotel in Aberdeen. What came out at trial, in his defense attorney’s opening statement, was that he arrived in Aberdeen that day and had only been in the United States for approximately a week, and he had come to work at the beef plant in Aberdeen. But I don’t know if he had already started working or was about to start work there.”
Mohamed mentioned to law enforcement that he had been hired on at the Demkota Ranch beef plant, White said. [Someone needs to do some research on DemKota Ranch Beef and figure out how closely they are working with Lutheran Social Services of SD and the US State Dept.—ed]
Read the whole thing! Click here. Don’t miss the line where Mohamed told the arresting officers that what he did was o.k. in his country!
Hohmann wraps up with this:
According to court records obtained by WND, Mohamed was arrested July 30 and indicted by a grand jury on Aug. 15. The jury was seated on Monday, Dec. 19, and the trial was held Tuesday, Dec. 20.
What a coincidence!
I was in Aberdeen meeting with residents on July 25, just five days before the arrest. Citizens there were becoming troubled by the changes they were seeing in their community and expressed fear about just such a thing happening. They told me that the meat plant was luring labor like these newly arrived Somalis and they had already noticed an increase in crime. They said that they did not want a resettlement office in town.
As we reported in April, there was a big push going on to open a direct resettlement site in Aberdeen which would presumably supply labor for DemKota directly from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. A small refugee office existed in Huron, but most refugees placed in South Dakota still go to Sioux Falls which is 200 miles away from Aberdeen.
Because of the public outcry in late summer and early fall, Lutheran Social Services appeared to back off a plan to open a direct resettlement site in Aberdeen after some of the citizens I met on July 25 organized a resistance. (I’ll give you some numbers below for SD).
The first public meeting organized by residents occurred a little over two weeks later and the Aberdeen News didn’t miss that event reporting on it on August 12th. Go here to see what happened at the heated meeting and read about the paper’s biased news coverage.
Look at the timeline. Mohamed was arrested on July 30th (no local media coverage).
A grand jury indicted him three days after (on August 15th) the paper wrote in negative (biased!) tones about the citizens who dared question what was happening in their quiet town. Did the paper cover up the sexual assault story on purpose because it confirmed the things citizens said they were worried about (or was it just incompetence)?
Look at what was happening in Twin Falls, Idaho in the first week of August! Click here. All hell had broken loose about a sexual assault there!
And, then of course it is quite stunning that no court reporter was present at the trial on December 20th. But, also not present was the family of the victim, and there still remains a question about how the guardians of the mentally-impaired woman were not told to be in court.
Many more questions remain!
Have the wheels come off the US Refugee Admissions Program? Are they trying to shoe-horn so many refugees in to the country that there is flagrant violation of contracts going on?
Refugees are to be placed by the contractor (LSS SD) directly in to apartments or rental houses and their initial resettlement period is about 3 months during which the contractor introduces the new refugee to American culture, signs them up for their welfare services, gets kids in school, tries to find them jobs, and arranges their medical screening (for things like TB!).
I am simply blown away by the information given by the state’s attorney that Mohamed had only been in the US a week and was walking the streets of Aberdeen unsupervised.
What! Did LSS simply bring him in to Sioux Falls and put him on a bus to Aberdeen to work at the meat plant? And, then put him up in a hotel? (I’m getting more and more reports of refugees being housed in hotels when State Department policy has always been that the refugee is to be picked up at the airport and escorted to their furnished apartment with ‘culturally appropriate’ food in the refrig!). What is going on? Too many refugees for them to handle?
I know it is pretty easy to unload on Mohamed, but why was he literally walking the streets in Aberdeen? He didn’t even speak English. Was no one supervising him? Was no one giving him any instructions about American culture and laws especially as it relates to the treatment of women?
Does this guy have a family? Or are we admitting single men to work in meatpacking now? Didn’t Homeland Security find out during his vetting process that he might have a problem?
What did Aberdeen’s mayor Mike Levsen know (about the sexual assault case) and when did he know it?
What role did Aberdeen’s mayor play in bringing DemKota to Aberdeen, and did he encourage LSS to open a refugee office to supply the company with cheap labor? Is it even a US-owned company?
I think folks in Aberdeen need to start having a serious look at the man they elected mayor in 2004! What! 12 years! Isn’t it time for a new mayor? See one of many stories about him here.
South Dakota numbers
This is getting too long, so here (below) are some numbers from South Dakota (via Wrapsnet.org). I’m sure this story isn’t going away any time soon especially since sentencing is scheduled for January 30th! (After expensive-to-taxpayers incarceration, will he be sentenced to be deported?)
In the 8 fiscal years since Obama has been in office, South Dakota received a total of 4,319 refugees. The largest groups were Bhutanese and Burmese, but Somalis came in at #3 with 577 placed in the state. Almost all of them were resettled in Sioux Falls. 64 Somalis came in FY 2016 (Mohamed would have been one of them, but does he have a family that we are now completely supporting somewhere else in SD?).
***Almost all Somalis who get in to the US come as resettled refugees, however, if we learn that he came in with a work visa that is going to open up a whole new controversy for the incoming Trump administration. OMG! Work visas from terror-producing countries of the world! Jeff Sessions, as newly appointed Attorney General must look into this case.
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