Civil case against Elgin imam charged with sexual abuse proceeding
Lawsuits against a prominent Elgin cleric seeking damages for sexual abuse his accusers say occurred decades ago will proceed, according to a Cook County judge.
Attorneys for Mohammad Abdullah Saleem had asked Judge James O'Hara to stay the civil cases until the conclusion of Saleem's sole pending criminal case on charges he sexually abused a 23-year-old female office employee at the Institute of Islamic Education, an Elgin school that Saleem founded for children in sixth through 12th grades.
Saleem, 76, is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, aggravated battery, criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint after the woman claimed he hugged, touched and massaged her against her will starting in October 2013, a month after she began working for the school, and continuing through April 2014.
Saleem, a native of India and a naturalized U.S. citizen living in Gilberts, has pleaded not guilty.
Late last month, O'Hara granted a motion from the plaintiffs' attorney to continue the case under fictitious names. The complainants are known as Jane Does #1 through #4 and John Doe #1. The 23-year-old accuser is Jane Doe #1, said her attorney Steven Denny.
According to court records, O'Hara responded to defense attorney Raymond Wigell's motions to dismiss the civil suits by ruling that the counts related to Jane Doe #1 will stand and dismissing the complaints related to the others, but giving Denny 28 days to file an amended complaint that fills in some missing details.
Saleem next appears in court on the criminal charges on Oct. 5. His next hearing in the civil case is Oct. 28.