FARGO — The bench trial of a 32-year-old man accused of a 2016 sexual assault ended Friday, May 10, after a judge found him guilty.
Cass County District Judge Steven Marquart convicted Ibrahim Mohammed of gross sexual imposition in connection with the sexual assault that occurred Sept. 3, 2016.
Mohammed allegedly forced his way into the victim’s apartment in Fargo and sexually assaulted her, according to charging documents and information provided during the trial. Mohammed and the victim both lived in the same building.
The trial started Tuesday, May 7. During closing arguments on Friday, the prosecution recounted the assault and how the victim repeatedly said no to Mohammed.
The prosecution pointed to expert testimony that said Mohammed’s DNA matched DNA found on the victim. During the trial, the prosecution also shared surveillance photos that helped law enforcement identify Mohammed.
The defense argued that the prosecution failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and pointed to possible inconsistencies between the victim's statements to law enforcement officials and what she said in court during the trial.
Marquart, when explaining his verdict, said the victim’s statements remained consistent in her account about refusing Mohammed’s sexual advances even if they differed in precise details and therefore the discrepancies do not discredit her testimony.
A sentencing date has not yet been set. A Class AA felony charge of gross sexual imposition carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Mohammed has another trial slated in July for a separate charge of gross sexual imposition in connection with a 2013 rape.