A Muslim community leader has been charged with child molestation in Fort Bend County, Texas, and police are angry that he could have been deported before the alleged crimes took place.
59-year-old Mohamed Omar Ali is a native of Somalia but he has been teaching as an Islamic leader in the United States since he entered the country in 2013.
He was arrested on Friday and charged with 3 counts of indecency with a child and one count of sexual assault of a child under the age of fourteen.
Police say that he found his alleged victims through local mosques where he taught the Koran.
Sheriff Troy Nehls said in a press conference that Ali should have been deported years ago.
“If there is a deportation order on him, why wasn’t he placed into custody months ago or maybe even years ago?” Nehls asked angrily. “Because he came into Fort Bend County in 2013.”
The Islamic Society of Greater Houston released a statement describing their background check policies.
“ISGH leadership takes the safety of our community very seriously and has implemented strict background check measures for all of our employees and any volunteers who work with children,” the statement read.
Ali was jailed on a $150,000 bond and still faces the deportation detainer.
“This is sickening and an abuse of power,” Nehls added. “If your children have had contact with this man, please talk to them. Victims’ identities will be protected.”
Police believe there may be more victims and are asking the public for help in the case.