An after-school instructor at an East Elmhurst mosque was arraigned Wednesday night on charges that he allegedly molested a 9-year-old girl, prosecutors announced.
Mohammed Rana, 46, allegedly abused the victim on two occasions between Nov. 30, 2015 and Jan. 28, 2016, while she attended the after-school religious program at the Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque located at 78-04 31st Ave.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said authorities learned of the incidents after the victim attended a sex abuse prevention workshop at the public school she attends. During the workshop, she confidentially informed the instructor that she had been abused allegedly by Rana, who was charged through an investigation by the NYPD Queens Child Abuse Squad.
In one incident, according to the charges, Rana reached under the girl’s clothing and squeezed her chest with his hand while saying she was a good girl. Prosecutors said he again molested the victim in a similar manner — this time, with his hands over her clothing — on Feb. 3.
“[Rana] is accused of using his position as a religious instructor at a mosque to prey on a young student,” Brown said in a statement Wednesday. “This case should serve as a clear and unmistakable warning that law enforcement is prepared to apprehend and prosecute sexual predators who betray and defile youngsters.”
During his arraignment hearing Wednesday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone Jr., Rana was booked on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and a child endangerment count. He was ordered held on $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash bail and to return to court on Feb. 26. If convicted, Rana faces up to seven years behind bars.