A snowshoe racer from India, who recently competed at the World Snowshoe Championships in New York after initially struggling to obtain a visa, is accused of sexually abusing a local girl.
Police say 24-year-old Tanveer Hussain from Kashmir is also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
Saranac Lake Village police Sergeant Casey Reardon told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise the girl and her parents reported the abuse to police. Police say the incident happened on Monday in the village in the Adirondack Mountains.
In a statement issued on Thursday, police said the charges stem from Hussain “engaging in a passionate kiss” with a 12-year-old victim. There is no accusation of force, and no other allegations were made.
Hussain was in jail Thursday on $5,000 cash bail. His attorney entered a not-guilty plea for him.
The attorney, Brian Barrett, says because of the limited communications he’s had with Hussain, he hasn’t been able to properly evaluate the case.
Hussain and Abid Khan, president of the Snowshoe Federation of India, initially ran into a roadblock trying to travel to the races.
Their initial visa applications were denied around the same time President Donald Trump issued an order barring travel into the US from seven countries, even though India was not one of those countries.
Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau reached out to US Sens Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for help, and seventh-graders from Saranac Lake Middle School wrote letters to the senators on behalf of the two Muslim men. They were allowed to resubmit their applications, the visas were approved, and the two men arrived in Saranac Lake on February 23.
Hussain and Khan spoke to the middle schoolers February 24, showed them videos of Kashmir and its winter recreation, and received some of the biggest cheers at opening ceremonies.