New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand played an active part in helping a man from India get into the United States, so he could compete in the World Snowshoe Competition in upstate New York. As of Friday, that same man found himself in an upstate New York jail, facing several serious sex charges.
The Indian snowshoe competitor, a man named Tanveer Hussain, originally had his travel request to the U.S. denied by the American Embassy in New Delhi due to his inability to prove “substantial ties to his country.”
When the offices of the two New York senators became aware of the case after requests for intervention from local officials, Schumer and Gillibrand’s offices approached the New Delhi embassy about the case. Soon after, Hussain successfully obtained a visa.
Hussain’s arrest occurred on Wednesday at Saranac Lake Village in upstate New York. According to Saranac Lake Police Chief Charles Potthast, “…Hussain, 24, was charged with first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, for “engaging in a passionate kiss” with a 12-year-old girl.
“He was also accused of touching her over her clothing in an “intimate area,” the network reported.”
Schumer’s office issued this statement, explaining what transpired with Mr. Hussain, and what should happen next, saying, “As we often do when local communities ask for help, at the request of Saranac Lake we helped to navigate the visa process so these athletes could compete at a local competition. The charges against one member of the group, who is accused of a serious crime and abusing our visa program, are extremely troubling. If he’s found guilty, he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
Gillibrand’s office issued a similar response, according to the New York Post.
Brian Barrett, Hussain’s lawyer, told reporters that their side is ready to fight the charges. Barrett said, “Obviously, this is a troubling matter for him — these are troubling accusations. He is in good spirits and he looks forward to fighting these charges.”
Hussain has entered a plea of not guilty, and as of Friday was being held on $5,000 cash bail, or $10,000 bond. Preliminary hearings are set for Tuesday at St. Armand Court.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn