Afghan Humanitarian Parolee Pleads Not Guilty to Rape Charge
19 year-old Zabihullah Mohmand entered a plea of ‘not guilty’ on Thursday afternoon in Missoula District Court to a felony charge of sexual intercourse without consent.
Judge Shane Vannatta communicated with Mohmand through an interpreter, Susan Malakooti from Washington State.
“Mr. Mohmand and to the charge of count one sexual intercourse without consent, a felony, how do you plead?” asked Judge Vannatta.
Through the interpreter Mohmand provided this response.
“Well, first of all if I were guilty I would say I'm guilty, but I'm not guilty,” said Mohmand. “I had sexual intercourse with this lady with her consent and I don't know why this accusation has been made against me.”
Mohmand’s local attorney, Stephanie McKnight asked Judge Vannatta to schedule an omnibus hearing in 60 days, and he set the hearing for 1:30 p.m. on December 9. She also asked the judge to schedule a date for arguments to lower Mohmand’s bail, which is currently set at $250,000.
Mohmand was remanded back to the Missoula County Jail.
The case has sent shock waves through the state and the nation as the topic of humanitarian parolees and the vetting process has come under scrutiny.