Nottinghamshire imam jailed for sex assaults on boy
A former imam who abused a young boy in a mosque’s attic in Nottingham 25 years ago has been jailed for five years.
Mohammed Rabani, 61, was an imam at a mosque in Sneinton for more than 25 years when he started abusing his victim, who was aged 12 at the time.
The abuse continued between 1990 and 1992 but the victim did not report it to police until 2015.
Rabani, from Sneinton, denied the charges but was found guilty of three counts of indecent assault following a trial.
The victim’s impact statement said the actions of the spiritual leader were ‘beyond redemption’. His moving statement said ‘people entrusted their children to him’ and ‘children trusted him’.
He also said: ‘I trusted him but he betrayed my trust and continues to betray the trust of everyone in the community by continuing to deny what he did to me.
‘To claim to be a man of God – but actually be an abuser of children – is beyond redemption. Only God can forgive him.’
Rabani, a twice-married and respected imam, had claimed the allegations were made up because he opposed a family’s business plan to redevelop the mosque.
But following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court at the end of May, he was found guilty of three charges of indecent assault.
The victim, now married and a father, said Rabani targeted him as a child because he was not as confident as his younger brother.
He said in a statement read out to the full courtroom by prosecutor David Outterside: ‘I was actually quite a shy, easily influenced and reserved child’.
Rabani was able to target him, not just because he was shy and lacking in confidence, but because he was in a position of trust within the community.
The victim said: ‘He was a father figure to me and everyone. Not even my own family would believe what he was doing to me.
‘In addition, I was scared, because beatings at home and at the mosque were commonplace in our community.
‘Children just did as they were told and adults were always right. As a result, I didn’t speak out.
‘Additionally, I thought it was normal. Because I also believed that Rabani should be trusted I assumed, because he was the imam, that whatever he did was right and that he was closest to God.’
Nottingham Imam found guilty of indecent assaults on teenage boy