- Associated Press - Friday, December 6, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A Bismarck man is charged with felony child abuse for allegedly hitting his teenage stepdaughter with a broomstick because she wouldn’t wear clothing in line with his Muslim beliefs.

According to charging documents, Youness Moussaid caused several bruises when he hit the girl. He’s also accused of grabbing her hair and hitting her head against a wall, causing a quarter-size bump. Moussaid made his first court appearance Friday.

The Bismarck Tribune reported that Moussaid wants the teenage girl to follow his religious beliefs, including wearing dresses and a hijab. But the girl changes clothes at school, police said.

The girl had a large bruise on the top of her right hand and bruises across the front of both thighs that were “consistent with the shape and size” of the broomstick Moussaid allegedly admitted to using, the police affidavit said.

Moussaid is barred from having contact with the girl. Court documents to not list an attorney to comment on his behalf.

Police were alerted to the incident after school officials noticed visible signs of abuse, Lt. Luke Gardiner said.

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