Friday, April 22, 2011

Minnesota serial predator sentenced to 10 years for raping woman, groping three others

A Shoreview, MN developer was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday, April 20 and will be deported back to his native Bangladesh after being convicted of raping a woman and groping three other women. The sex assaults took place between January 2008 and September 2009. According to prosecutors at his trial, now 36 year old Maksud Mahbub would target women who were drunk at downtown Minneapolis bars during closing time and offer them "help" or rides, when they would be assaulted in his car or home.

The women testified that they passed out and woke up in Mahbub's home or car, unable to remember how they got there. The evidence against Mahbub included a shopping bag found in his closet with four pairs of women's underwear, including one belonging to a victim; a bra; and some women's jewelry. The victims also testified that Mahbub took or disabled their cellphones, in some cases by removing the batteries, so they could not call for help.

In one of the assaults, the victim testified that she had gone to a Minneapolis bar with a friend in September 2009 and had about five beers and six shots of liquor before ending up alone. She testified that the next thing she remembered was being in Mahbub's car. At his townhouse, she said, she fell asleep with her clothes on in his bedroom, but was nude when she woke up and he was on top of her. She said he raped her, even though she pushed him off twice.

Mahbub testified that he had never touched the woman. He also said that he had consensual sex with one of the women and kissed another, but denied touching the others. Mahbub testified at trial that he had only good intentions when he offered the inebriated women rides or took them to his townhome. He admitted only after aggressive questioning that he would have liked to have sex with the ones he groped "if they wanted to."

Investigators found three victims through taxi records after the first reported she was raped in September 2009. Another reported her assault after officials put out a public call for victims to come forward.

The charges that Mahbub was found guilty of and sentenced by Ramsey County District Judge Judith Tilsen were a single count of 3rd degree CSC and 3 counts of 4th degree CSC. A charge of 3rd degree sexual misconduct was dropped, and cases against six other women were not pursued or dropped due to lack of evidence. One of his victim wrote a letter to Judge Tilsen regarding her assault.

"I wanted to write this letter not only for myself but for the other women in this trial, and the countless others that may have been afraid to come forward. I thought, how could this happen to me? I am so much ... stronger than to let this happen." she said, before realizing that regardless of background, there is a difference between sex and rape. As for Mahbub's actions, the victim said, "that's what predators do."

Mahbub through his attorney Earl Gray, argued for a year in jail and SO treatment, stating that the immigration hold Mahbub has meant that he will be seperated from his brother, young daughter, and mother, who cried throught the proceedings. "I have been blessed with a loving family. I'm sorry to everyone because they had to endure such a hard time ... because of my conduct. I'll never be able to see my daughter, brother and mom ever again." said Mahbub.

Judge Tilsen said in response, "I'm not going to depart from (state sentencing) guidelines because it's going to be hard on your family," and Ella Friendt, a juror on the case, said "To me, it was a gut-wrenching case. It was very hard being a mother, to see what his mother was going through. But I also have a daughter ... and he was a predator."

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