Mosque Investigated for Child Marriage and Sex Attacks on Children
Philadelphia mosque under investigation for allegedly performing child weddings
A Philadephia mosque is under police investigation following allegations that leaders have been performing child weddings and facilitating the rape of children, according to reports.
Authorities have been called into to the Masjid Uthman Dan Fodiyo mosque after a child victim came forward claiming she had been forced into marrying a man twice her age.
The victim, who can't be named for legal reasons, says she was forced to marry an adult man when she was 14 years old, and the same man raped her 10-year-old sister.
Law enforcement was alerted when a Facebook video was posted two weeks ago, one of the alleged victims, who is now 17, describes her ordeal of being forced to become a child bride at 14 by elders at the mosque.
"At the time I was a virgin. It was going to be my first marriage of course," said the teen.
In the Facebook video, the victim details her alleged ordeal at the hands of a man she names as Rajmann Sanders.
According to ABC7, she says it didn't last.
In 2016, she says she was married off to Sanders, a man more than twice her age who then allegedly began sexually assaulting her and her young sister.
"The 10-year-old was not handled correctly and everything was swept under the rug," she said.
"Not only was it wrong, it was wrong to me because at the time I was still his wife."
Sanders is charged with more than a dozen sexual offenses against the girls, including rape, indecent assault, and forcible compulsion.
The criminal complaint reveals Sanders threatened to shoot the older victim during one sexual assault.
Police are now investigating whether child weddings are being conducted at the Masjid Uthman Dan Fodiyo mosque on the 4800 block of Paschall.
One of the victims says her unofficial marriage took place there.
Last Friday, police conducted search warrants at the mosque and the home of a mosque leader.
The alleged victim says she's coming forward to warn others.
"This is not healthy for me or my kids. No one should want their kids around this, especially with the pedophilia, that should be enough to say no I don't want my kids around this," she said.
The victims are now in the protective custody of the Department Human Services.
Sanders remains behind bars.
Attempts to reach his public defender have been unsuccessful.
The investigation is ongoing.