By Charles Sercombe
The preliminary examination for community activist Ibrahim Aljahim on Thursday (Oct. 31) continued where it left off a few weeks ago:
With Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Nida Samona and Aljahim’s attorney, Roger Farinha, interrupting each other and bickering.
The testy exchange between the two prompted Hamtramck 31st District Court Judge Alexis Krot to warn them to behave.
“You’re turning this into a circus,” Krot said.
And at another point, Krot scolded the pair.
“Stop interrupting,” she said. “Treat each other with courtesy. I’m sick of this.”
Aljahim is accused of two counts of first-degree sexual assault against an 18-year-old male special education student at Oakland International Academy, located in the former St. Florian High School.
The alleged assault happened on Sept. 18.
The Review does not publish the name of sexual assault victims.
Aljahim, 37, was a community liaison officer for the charter school, but was fired after being charged with the assault. Aljahim, a Yemeni-American, is also well known in local, state and national political circles.
Although he has campaigned for Democratic candidates, Aljahim told The Review a few years ago that he is a Republican.
The exam started off with an argument between the prosecutor and defense attorney over whether the student should stand another round of questioning.
The prosecutor, Samona, said that when the first day of the exam was ending, the student said he would not answer any more questions. That was the reason why that day’s exam came to an end.
Judge Krot, though, disagreed, saying the student simply wanted to stop for the day.
Having got past that issue, Aljahim’s attorney, Farinha, began a round of questioning that seemed to confuse the student’s timeline of what happened.
A number of his questions also seemed to puzzle the student on whether to answer with a “yes” or a “no.” At one point he simply could not respond, which prompted Judge Krot to call for a 10-minute recess.
When the court resumed, the prosecutor submitted a certified medical document saying that the student is “mentally incapacitated.”
Aljahim is accused of assaulting the teen in the teen’s car. The teen said he asked to go to his car in order to retrieve books for his math class, and he requested Aljahim to escort him. The teen stressed that he trusted Aljahim.
Once in the car, the teen says Aljahim performed oral sex on him and Aljahim then told the teen to perform oral on him.
Aljahim’s attorney showed a security camera recording of the two leaving and returning from a parking lot across the street of the school. They were gone for 15 minutes, a time-period that Aljahim’s attorney insisted was not long enough for an assault to take place.
The student still insisted it had happened. The student also noted that he “coughed up hair” after the alleged assault.
The story gets complicated because officers were initially called to the school to interview the student about an earlier incident that happened that day in school.
The teen said a fellow student goaded him to show his genitals while they were apparently alone in a classroom. The fellow student then took a photo and apparently shared it with other students.
It was during this police interview that the student who took the photo told the school’s dean of students about the later assault involving Aljahim.
After three hours of testimony, Judge Krot ended the hearing and scheduled it to resume next Thursday (Nov. 7) at 11 a.m.
There are apparently two more witnesses who are police officers.
The preliminary examination is held to determine if there is enough evidence to transfer the matter to the county circuit court where an actual trial could take place.
It is extremely rare for a district court judge to not bound over a suspect to circuit court.
If convicted of the charges, Aljahim could be sentenced to life in prison. His attorney has vehemently denied that an assault took place.
The Review reached out to Aljahim on his Facebook page for comment, but he has not responded.
Aljahim is out on bond, but had to surrender his passport and has to wear an electronic tether.
Since being charged, Aljahim has been regularly posting on his Facebook page but has not talked about the accusation.
However, his supporters, mostly fellow Yemeni-Americans, have been active on a Facebook page called “I Love Hamtramck.”
They insist Aljahim is innocent and that that the prosecutor’s case is falling apart.
Saleh Mosleh Almadrahi said Aljahim is the victim of a “witch hunt.”
Another supporter, Fakhruddin Abdullah Malahi, said there is an effort “to ruin him (Aljahim) by this false accusations.”
Nov. 2, 2019