Tanveer Hussain, an Indian snowshoer who was awarded a visa into the United States after the networking of New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, was arrested Wednesday for his sexual involvement with a minor.
Hussain was arrested in Saranac Lake in upstate New York on charges of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a minor.
Seeking a visa in order to compete at the World Snowshoe Championships, Hussain was denied entry into the United States in February before Schumer’s and Gillibrand’s offices intervened.
Working out the details with the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, Schumer’s and Gillibrand’s work behind the scenes allowed Hussain to re-apply for approval, which he was eventually granted.
Hussain, 24, is alleged to have been involved with a 12 year-old girl, with two reportedly seen “engaging in a passionate kiss”. Hussain pleaded not guilty in court this afternoon, as his lawyer Brian Barrett insists the 12 year-old “had been following him around all week.”
Obviously, this is a troubling matter for him…these are troubling accusations,” Barrett stated. Speaking on behalf of Hussain, Barrett said “He is in good spirits and he looks forward to fighting these charges.”
In response to the alleged events, Schumer’s office released a statement detailing its disappointment in Hussain and belief in due process.
“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,” reads the statement. “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.”
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