According to CBS Detroit and the Grand Rapids Press, an Iraqi woman who claimed she fled Iraq because Baghdad was “hell,” made life hell for a 14-year-old girl in western Michigan and is now charged with sexual assault.
CBS Detroit reports that a 14-year-old girl told police Azal Saleh, 22, who herself has a two-year-old daughter, fondled her in her pubic area last February at the girl’s family friends’ home in Grandville. The girl said the sexual touching began with Saleh, who sometimes refers to herself as “Mary,” rubbing the girl’s arm and chest, provoking the girl to ask her to stop.
Saleh insisted that touching was normal behavior for friends. The girl continued that Saleh then moved her hands under the girl’s clothing, eventually finding the girl’s pubic area.
Saleh told the Grand Rapids Press in April that “A lot of bad things happened” to her in Iraq and that she “came from hell, mistreated and abused.” Saleh was reportedly offered a plea deal after the incident with the 14-year-old but maintained her innocence.
In April, Saleh’s arrival at Covenant House Academy in Michigan was celebrated by her close friend in Iraq, Muna Ahmed, 21, who had felt alone because she was the only Iraqi student and the only one wearing a hijab.