New York Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) recently helped an Indian snowshoe athlete get a visa to come to the United States to compete in an event. Now that athlete has been charged with a heinous sex crime against a child.
Schumer, the Senate minority leader, along with Clyde Rabideau, mayor of Saranac Lake, New York, petitioned for Tanveer Hussain and his team manager to be granted entry into the U.S. after they were denied a visa in the immediate days after President Donald Trump signed his controversial executive order on immigration and refugees, according to the Washington Post.
Hussian is from India — not one of the countries included in Trump’s travel ban — so it’s not clear why his visa was initially denied.
But after Schumer pulled strings for Hussain to obtain a visa, Hussain and his team manager were welcomed to Saranac Lake with a “hero’s welcome.”
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Hussain and team manager Abid Khan arrived Feb. 23 in the bucolic Adirondacks town, which had been following their visa ordeal and extended them a hero’s welcome. Locals offered congratulations and free lodging at an inn that in the snow looked like a “fairy tale scene from a movie,” Khan said in a Facebook post.
Schumer even posted on Facebook about Hussain’s arrival to the U.S.:
But that “fairy tale” quickly ended when Hussain was apprehended by New York authorities on Wednesday after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl at the hotel pool where he was staying.
According to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Hussain, 24, was charged with first-degree felony sexual assault and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.
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The parents of the 12-year-old girl who was allegedly involved said the incident happened Monday, after the three-day snowshoe competition, and reported it to local authorities.
Chief Charles A. Potthast Jr. of the Saranac Lake Village police force said the girl was playing pool Monday afternoon with other young people at the inn where Hussain was staying.
“There was a moment when the two were alone, and that’s when the incident occurred,” Potthast said. The girl told police that there was a “passionate kiss” and that Hussain touched her in an intimate area on top of her clothing.
Hussain remains in jail on a $10,000 bond. However, he has maintained his innocence.
Muddasir Mir, president of the SnowShoe Federation of India, called Hussain’s arrest an “unfortunate situation.”
“It’s an unfortunate situation, both for the community there in the U.S. who supported us and the federation,” Mir told the Post. “We have full faith in the American law, and as there is a court proceeding going on, that is going to be my only comment.”
Mir added that Hussain wouldn’t have been able to come to the U.S. if it weren’t for the “personal efforts” of Schumer and junior New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D).
Schumer and Gillibrand haven’t said much since Hussain was charged earlier this week other than to characterize the charges as “extremely troubling” and “extremely serious,” according to the Post.