Afghan Refugee Resettled in Montana Charged With Sexual Assault

A refugee from Afghanistan has been charged with raping an 18-year old woman in a Missoula, Montana, hotel, having been granted parole immigration status just months previously and resettled in the state by the US State Department.

Zabihullah Muhmand was charged with sexual intercourse without consent on Tuesday, and is being held on a $50,000 bond. A federal immigration hold has also been placed on the 19-year old citizen of Afghanistan.

Charging documents detail an incident in which Muhmand convinced a woman he met at a bar to come with him to a house party. When that plan failed to materialize, he invited the 18-year old woman to come with him to his hotel room. She describes agreeing to come, and making it clear she didn’t want anything to happen between the two. The woman later describes being pinned down by the neck and sexually assaulted by Muhmand after falling asleep, with another individual present in the room. Muhmand denies the allegations.

The 19-year old man described himself as visiting the United States on an “international trip” from Afghanistan. It’s not exactly clear how long he’s been in the country.

Amid concerns in the community following the incident, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte and Senator Steve Daines called upon President Joe Biden to cease all resettlement of Afghan refugees in Montana. The Biden administration has targeted predominantly conservative states as destinations to resettle Afghans.

Photography of the Afghan national airlifted out of Kabul in the aftermath of the nation’s capitulation to the Taliban reveal that the US government is evacuating primarily fighting-age young men, raising questions about resettlement policies when women and non-Muslims stand to lose the most from the Taliban’s rule of the country. The US government is continuing to provide flights for Afghan nationals in the aftermath of the debacle of the Kabul Airport disaster, ferrying even more migrants in with little oversight and transparency.

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