New indictment against Elgin cleric charged with sex abuse

  • Mohammad Abdullah Saleem

    Mohammad Abdullah Saleem

 
 
Updated 11/20/2015 3:49 PM

Prosecutors on Friday announced a new indictment against an Elgin cleric charged earlier this year with sexually abusing a 22-year-old employee of the Islamic school he founded.

The new charges allege Mohammad Abdullah Saleem -- founder and former director of the Institute of Islamic Education, a private Elgin school for children in sixth through 12th grades -- sexually abused a student from 2001 to 2003, when she was ages 14 to 16.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Saleem, 76, of Gilberts, will be arraigned on the new charges Dec. 16 in Rolling Meadows.

At that time he will "enter a plea of not guilty to any and all charges contained in the indictment," defense attorney Huma Rashid said following Friday's hearing.

The new accuser, who says Saleem abused her 15 to 20 times, moved out of state in 2003. She came forward in December 2014 after she learned police were investigating the cleric on other charges, prosecutors said.

Illinois' criminal statute allows for the prosecution of sexual abuse cases involving minor accusers to begin within 20 years of his or her 18th birthday, which in the case of this new accuser, would be November 2024.

Saleem, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was charged in February with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse, aggravated battery of a school employee, criminal sexual abuse and unlawful restraint.

If convicted of the most serious charges, he faces up to seven years in prison. Probation is also available.

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