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Humanitarian parolee pleads not guilty to Missoula rape

Zabihullah Mohmand Court
Posted at 1:56 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 12:11:56-04

MISSOULA — A humanitarian parolee accused of raping a woman at a downtown Missoula hotel in October says he's not guilty.

Zabihullah Mohmand, 19, was arraigned in Missoula District Court Thursday before Judge Shane Vannatta on a felony charge of sexual intercourse without consent.

Mohmand, a humanitarian parolee from Afghanistan, is accused of raping an 18-year-old girl after leaving a downtown Missoula bar on Oct. 17.

In charging documents, Doe told authorities they left the bar to look for a house party but when they couldn't find one, Mohmand asked the woman to go back to his hotel room and she agreed.

Doe told authorities that is where Mohmand allegedly sexually assaulted her. The woman told authorities that Mohmand was visiting Missoula on a "worldwide trip."

The defendant reported to authorities in charging documents they had consensual sex and that Doe "wanted him very badly" and "was coming on to him."

During Thursday's court appearance, Mohmand spoke at length with a Farsi interpreter from Washington translating service. He said he had sex with the girl, but believed it was consensual.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte called on the Biden Administration to halt the relocation of Afghan refugees to Montana following the report of the alleged rape.

According to U.S. Sen. Steve Daines’ office, Mohmand was admitted to the United States and placed in Montana under Humanitarian Parole — a government program used to bring someone with a compelling emergency to temporarily stay in the United States.

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) spokesman Jon Ebelt told MTN News in an earlier report that Mohmand is one of 20 people who was placed in Montana as part of the federal Afghan Placement and Assistance Program.

Mohmand is not part of the Special Immigrant Visa program; a program for persons who worked with the U.S. Armed Forces as a translator or interpreter in Iraq or Afghanistan.

A judge set Mohmand's next court appearance for Dec. 9 at 1:30 p.m. in Missoula.

Editor's Note:  An earlier report identified Mohmand as a refugee.