Schumer, Gillibrand pulled visa strings for athlete accused of sex abuse
– New York Post
“A snowshoe racer from India who got a visa after Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand pulled some strings was being held Friday in an upstate jail on a sex charge.
The US embassy in New Delhi rejected Tanveer Hussain’s application for a visa so he could compete in the World Snowshoe Championship last month, Fox News reported.
Local officials then appealed for help to Schumer and Gillibrand, and their offices reached out to the New Delhi embassy, which let Hussain successfully reapply for a visa.
“Obviously, this is a troubling matter for him — these are troubling accusations,” Brian Barrett, Hussain’s lawyer, told Fox. “He is in good spirits and he looks forward to fighting these charges.”
Saranac Lake Police Chief Charles Potthast said Hussain, 24, was charged with first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, for “engaging in a passionate kiss” with a 12-year-old girl.
He was also accused of touching her over her clothing in an “intimate area,” the network reported.
Barrett said the girl “had been following him around all week. But that’s really all I can say on that.”
Hussain was arrested Wednesday after Saranac Lake Village police received a report of the alleged incident, which was reported to have happened on Monday. He has pled not guilty.
Hussain, who was being held Friday on a $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond, will have a preliminary hearing Tuesday at St. Armand Town Court.
Schumer’s office told Fox he often intervenes to help international competitions.
“As we often do when local communities ask for help, at the request of Saranac Lake we helped to navigate the visa process so these athletes could compete at a local competition. The charges against one member of the group, who is accused of a serious crime and abusing our visa program, are extremely troubling. If he’s found guilty, he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” a rep said.”
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