- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 20, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A judge sentenced a convicted child molester to 12 ½ years in prison despite a 17-year-old Portland girl recanting her story of sexual abuse.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Leslie Roberts on Friday sentenced Hassan Mohamedhaji Noor to prison after discovering two months ago that the girl was under pressure from family and others in her Somali American community not to speak out, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported .

The 17-year-old girl called 911 last year to report the sexual abuse.

“There is no point in arguing that it didn’t happen,” said Roberts, directing her comments to the girl and an audience of more than 30 Noor supporters. Some cried as Noor was sentenced.

Noor’s attorney, Christopher McCormack, asked for 6 ¼ years. He said Noor, who maintains his innocence, has done a lot of good as a hard-working father of six.

After a four-day trial in December, the judge found Noor guilty of sexually abusing three girls in his tight-knit immigrant community, which numbers about 8,000 in Portland.

In the spring, victims told police and later a grand jury that Noor had asked them to give him leg massages, then directed them to work their way up to his genitals. They ranged in age from 11 to 16 years at the time of the abuse.

The girls also had explained how unsupportive their mothers, fathers, aunts or other adults had been after they confided in them about the abuse. The girls said those trusted adults warned them that if they reported the abuse to police, no one would believe them and no one would want to marry them. The adults also told them it was up to Allah to decide Noor’s guilt, not a court of law, investigators said.

The 17-year-old girl on Friday repeatedly insisted she wasn’t an abuse victim but acknowledged she has been through a lot.

“Ever since this happened, I’ve been forced to grow up. I’m 17, and I feel 35,” she said.


Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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