FARGO — Ibrahim Ahmed Mohammed, a man accused of raping a woman in 2016, was ordered Monday, Sept. 9, to serve 30 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised probation.
Cass County District Judge Steven Marquart found Mohammed guilty of gross sexual imposition after a bench trial in July.
“This is a crime that cannot be tolerated,” prosecutor Renata Selzer said during Monday's sentencing. The sentence Selzer requested is the one Marquart ordered.
According to court documents and information provided during the trial, Mohammed forced his way into the victim’s apartment in Fargo on Sept. 3, 2016, and sexually assaulted her. Mohammed and the victim lived in the same building.
During the trial, the prosecution recounted the assault and how the victim repeatedly said no to Mohammed.
The victim gave a statement at Monday’s sentencing, describing how the incident has left a mark on her life.
“I shut myself so no one can know I’m hurting so bad,” the victim said, adding how she did not want to leave her apartment or socialize with others after the assault.
Given a chance to speak, 32-year-old Mohammed said he’s not the kind of person who commits crimes, and he began to object to case information that arose during the trial.
Marquart told Mohammed the case could not be retried at the sentencing, but allowed Mohammed to say anything else he wished the court to know, at which point Mohammed asked for a more lenient sentence and said he believed he could change.
Mohammed's attorney, Nicholas Thornton, asked Marquart to order a 20-year sentence, the minimum mandatory for the Class AA felony count that Mohammed faced, and five to 10 years of supervised probation. Thornton also raised objections to the presentence investigation done for Mohammed, objections that Marquart denied.
“This was a horrific crime that the defendant has taken no responsibility for,” Marquart said in explaining the sentence and why he denied Thornton’s objections.
Mohammed also faces the possibility of deportation due to his status as a Sudanese immigrant.
Thornton said Mohammed's deportation is “virtually automatic," given his conviction. Prosecutor Ryan Younggren said “this type of conviction is one of the cases that they are highly likely to be deported on.”
But Mohammed’s chances of deportation hinge on several factors. Younggren said it depends on what the relationship is between the U.S. and Mohammed’s home country, the political stability of that country and if those factors change during Mohammed’s incarceration.
If deportation occurs, it can happen anytime between when Mohammed begins his stay in prison and the last day of his probationary period. Younggren said it's likely the federal government will not take Mohammed out of incarceration while he is serving his sentence, but added that it’s possible for him to be deported earlier.
Mohammed was charged with gross sexual imposition in a separate case in connection with a 2013 rape, but that case was dismissed in June. Selzer said the prosecution did not believe it could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and court documents show the prosecution had trouble maintaining contact with the victim.