HAMTRAMCK – At a preliminary examination for Ibrahim Aljahim at the 31st District Court in Hamtramck on Thursday, both prosecutors and defense were unable to pin down for the court an accurate description of what occurred on the day of an alleged sexual assault by Aljahim on a student at the Oakland International Academy High School.
Wayne County prosecutors only had one witness at the hearing: The alleged victim himself.
District Judge Alexis G. Krot requested that media not reveal the name of this person, who was 18-years-old at the time of the incident in question and was enrolled in the special needs program.
To respect her wishes, this article will refer to him as complaining witness (CW).
At the same time, Krot criticized Wayne County prosecuting attorneys and their department for revealing Aljahim’s name to the public soon after the case was brought to them.
“You should have given the suspect the same courtesy,” she said.
Prosecutors told the court that they had other witnesses who could not appear at the time of the hearing.
Both CW’s credibility as a witness and the prosecution’s case appeared to be in jeopardy when the witness told the court slightly different versions of the events in questions.
The young witness was visibly shaken and struggled through the cross examination, while the court tried to make sense of his story amid numerous objections by both attorneys as each argued over the validity of and intent behind the other’s questions.
CW told prosecutors that he was in fifth hour at school when Aljahim pulled him out of class.
It could be gathered from his testimony that they may have gone to the school’s office and then to CW’s own car, parked in the school’s lot across the street, where CW was forced to perform a sex act on Aljahim in the back of the vehicle.
He also said Aljahim performed the same act on him soon after.
He said Aljahim gave no particular reason for why he pulled him out of class.
When asked why he complied with Aljahim, CW said his Islamic faith obligated him to respect his elders and follow their commands.
He said he walked back to the school building after the incident, gripped with fear and shock, and told school administration what happened and informed family members later that day.
During defense’s cross examination, however, he at one point seemed to tell the court he in fact requested Aljahim to accompany him to his car, so he could retrieve some books.
Confusion and outbursts from both sides followed more revelations, as defense pointed to a police report and an apparent audio recording that show CW denied to police that Aljahim or any other staff touched him inappropriately.
Defense also brought up another incident prior to the alleged September 18 sexual assault where three boys, whom CW knows, forced him to reveal his private parts on camera.
Acquaintances of Aljahim later told The Arab American News that such a video existed and that they had possession of it.
Defense’s cross examination further seemed to reveal that Aljahim had escorted CW to the offices upon taking him from the classroom to discuss the prior alleged assault by the boys.
It appears that the school’s office itself may have told Aljahim to take CW to his car to grab his books.
The defense’s case seems to point to an act of retaliation by the boys who allegedly assaulted CW, as it argued the Aljahim had in fact attempted to aid CW after the assault.
CW previously identified another Arab American staff member whose name he said he mixed up with Aljahim’s. The prosecutor herself was checked by Krot after mispronouncing Aljahim’s name several times during the proceedings.
The confusion of the trial, CW’s testimony and his obvious difficulty keeping a consistent narrative amid a barrage of questions by both attorneys forced Krot to end the examination and postpone it until next week.
The next court proceeding is set for Friday, October 18, at 10:30 am.