It’s not clear that the travel ban actually was what stopped him, U.S. officials say no. But Democrats were happy hang his visa denial on that and get him into the country for political points. So thanks Chuck Schumer for the result…
CHANDIGARH, India — An Indian athlete who overcame a visa denial with the help of U.S. lawmakers and a local mayor to attend the World Snowshoe Championship in New York has been arrested on charges of the abuse of a minor.
The details of the alleged incident are sketchy, but the parents of the 12-year-old girl involved said it happened on Monday and reported the matter to local authorities, according to a report from the local newspaper, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
The police statement cited by the newspaper said the athlete, Tanveer Hussain, engaged in a “passionate kiss” with the girl and there was touching in an “intimate area over the clothes.”
The athlete’s coach said he is innocent.
Muddasir Mir, the president of the SnowShoe Federation of India, confirmed the arrest of Hussain and said that the next court hearing is set for Monday.
Tanveer Hussain, the Indian athlete who defied the travel ban only to be arrested on sexual abuse charges in New York, competing in the World Championships for snowshoeing in Saranac Lake NY on Feb. 25. (Courtesy Abid Khan)
“I absolutely say it’s an unfortunate situation both for the community there in the U.S. who supported us, and the federation,” Mir said. “We have full faith in the American law and as there is a court proceeding going on that is going to be my only comment.”
It was a long journey for Indian snowshoe champion Hussain and his coach to the World Snowshoe Championships in Saranac Lake, N.Y., last weekend.
The pair were initially denied visas to travel to the U.S. in the chaotic days following the Trump administration’s travel ban, but with the help of Saranac’s mayor and — according to Mir — the office of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the American Embassy in New Delhi reversed its decision Feb. 17 and allowed them to travel to the competition. They arrived Feb. 23.
After their ordeal, Hussain and his coach, Abid Khan, were given a hero’s welcome in the bucolic town in the Adirondacks, besieged by locals offering congratulations and free lodgings at the Porcupine Inn, a heritage lodge that in the snow looked like a “fairy tale scene from a movie,” Khan said in a Facebook post.
The “fairy tale” came to an unhappy conclusion Thursday, when Hussain, 24, was arrested and charged with felony sexual abuse and child welfare endangerment.