Islamic Academy, Mosque, Rapes, School Principal
Islamic Academy And Mosque Continue To Blame 13-Year-Old Student And Other Young Student Victims For Rapes And Other Molestations Inflicted Upon Them By Indicted School Principal
This intensely litigated case involves a suit by three former middle school students against the Nur-Ul-Islam Academy and Mosque for damages resulting from the Head of the School and Teacher’s alleged repeated rapes and other sexual molestations on each of the three students throughout a 4-year rampage. There were hundreds of inappropriate contacts involved. There are additional former middle school students who claim improper sexual advances were made after this period, but they have not decided to pursue litigation.
All three students have suffered significant emotional problems that have persisted into the years. “He and they [the School and Mosque] took away my entire childhood,” said one victim. “My life was destroyed and I continued to suffer so deeply every day of my life.” Other victims echo the sentiment.
Amazingly, in depositions just taken last week, the Defendants continue to claim in their audacious defense that these then-children were the “sole cause” of their own misfortune, or alternatively claim that each child’s parents are responsible for failing to supervise their children; rather than face the fact that these children were repeatedly abused by their teacher and Head of School, a man placed in a position of complete authority over the victims by the Defendants. Defendant Hussain even went so far as to assert that all of the fault is on the Jane Does because all children “assume the risk” of being sexually abused by their teachers or other school staff.
The lead attorney for the alleged victims, noted attorney Scott A. Mager of Mager Paruas, LLC, says that the blasé victim blaming shown in the Defendants’ responses is nothing new. “We have evidence that school officials were aware of the sexual relationship between some of the children and the teacher. Instead of acknowledging that reality, the Nur-Ul-Islam School Defendants ludicrously blame the children and their parents. As you can see by the fact that this litigation now nearing its 5th year, and despite our aggressive attempts, we have just finished the first set of depositions of two of the Defendants. The Defendants continue to be empowered by how they can get away with their wrongful conduct and dilatory tactics.”
“Few appreciate the empirical data showing how devastating and lasting such acts have upon their victims, or the lifetime effects of childhood sex abuse,” says Mager.
The former students have further alleged that Nur-Ul-Islam Academy has continued to use religious influence and community pressure to intimidate other alleged victims and witnesses in an attempt to deny justice to the victims.
Mager, who has regularly championed the causes of young victims to great success, feels his cause is just: “It’s easy to see the rapists and pedophiles as the monsters that they are, but it’s those among us who shelter and allow these pedophiles who are nearly as terrifying. They hide among us. Whether or not we can ever rid society of sexual deviants that desire to prey on our children, we make our community a better place when we hold those who shelter these deviants accountable.”
After an initial firestorm of media attention in 2014 when the suit was filed, through the successful efforts of numerous law firms for the Defendants, the case has languished in court system. The Defendants were successful in blocking the progress of the case until they were sanctioned by the Broward County Courts in December of 2017. Such judicial sanction is a relatively rare occurrence, only meted out for the most egregious of violations. Since that time, further disturbing revelations have come to light, including the possibility that one or more of the Defendants committed perjury. “They can’t hide forever,” says Mager. “We will spend every day and night seeking justice for these children. It is time for a true awakening and to hold institutions accountable for their wrongful acts.”
Many worrying facts emerged from the recently taken depositions. For example, Chapter 39 of the Florida Statutes makes it a felony to fail to report allegations of child abuse. Incredibly, the School Defendant testified under oath that to this day it has never reported any allegations to anyone. “It is despicable that anyone can get away with not reporting alleged child abuse,” says Mager. “If schools are not taking responsibility for properly training teachers and heads of school and ensuring that there are proper safeguards in place for teachers, students, and parents, we will never have safety in our schools. Parents will be required to home school all children, for fear of permanently scarring their children by the horrific acts of school staff and leadership.” The School Defendant also testified under oath that it took no steps to investigate any of the matters, even after the lawsuits were filed. These are only 2 of the numerous failures the Jane Does allege took place.
Here, the School Defendant’s own sworn testimony also shows that it had no idea what training was provided to teachers, or what training was provided to students to provide an environment to communicate sexual advances or other improprieties made by teachers. Also, according to its sworn testimony, the School could not testify as to a single course provided to the teachers on how to discover or handle claims of inappropriate behavior; the School had no written policies that inform the teachers of their duty to disclose, or inform teachers what to do when they suspect inappropriate behavior; it had no written policies on teacher contact with students, such as inappropriate texts and phone calls that were made to various students; it had no restrictions on teacher access to student phone numbers, as one of the students was contacted by the rapist going into the office and searching through school records; it had no written policies on educating students or parents on how to handle allegations of inappropriate teacher contact/conduct.
The Defendants have also refused to take any action in regard to the former teacher and alleged rapist, Tariq Ahmad, and only terminated Ahmad after he was indicted for molestation and sexual battery. Equally troubling, the School knew where Tariq Ahmad was located when the indictment was issued, but Ahmad was allowed to flee the jurisdiction before authorities could apprehend him. He remains a fugitive.
Rapes have yielded significant jury verdicts this past year. In Miami-Dade County, a recent jury verdict of $49,000,000 was entered for a student who was similarly abused by a teacher. In Broward County, a $71,000,000 verdict was recently awarded to a woman who was raped on a boat.
The Jane Doe cases are set for lengthy jury trials beginning in June 2018. The civil case is styled Jane Does v. Nur-Ul-Islam Academy, Inc., Nur-Ul-Islam of South Florida, Inc. and Kem Hussain, Broward County Circuit Court Civil Case No. CACE14020618.
Firm Wins Incredible Case on Behalf of Celebrity Chef and Restaurant. In a case brought by one of the most successful plaintiffs’ employment lawyers, Mager successfully defended the Chef and his restaurant, despite where it appeared that all odds were against him.
Celebrity Chef Giovanni Rocchio was wrongfully sued by a former server, who made outrageous and defamatory claims against him and his restaurant Valentino. She successfully convinced the lawyers at Amlong & Amlong – one of the most successful plaintiff’s employment and labor law firm in America – to sue the Defendants (Rocchio and his restaurant). Complicating the situation, there were allegations that this former server actually stole or otherwise removed thousands of pages of employment documents from the restaurant/company premises.
The former server alleged federal and state violations of the wage claim law, focusing on claims that the “tip pool” – the money collected from all servers and then distributed to the servers at the end of the evening – was invalid. They also sued for what would have been hundreds of thousands of dollars of attorney’s fees and costs.
“Tip pools” are commonly utilized by restaurants, where all of the server’s tips are collected, and then distributed at the end of the night to the servers, with others (bartenders, etc.) getting a small percentage for their contribution. “It’s a wonderful program that motivates all to provide exceptional service, and to help each other,” said a restaurant expert. As Mager notes, there is a motivating psychology to such pools. The idea behind pooling tips is to create more harmonious working groups, but it can be problematic if you have some underperforming servers who are not replaced. If you have good people, it really motivates everyone to perform. If you have some that don’t perform, it does tend to motivate all on the team to either help them get there, or to remove and replace with higher talent.
Obviously, press like this is never good, and the appearance of impropriety on behalf of the Celebrity Chef and his famous restaurant spread throughout the industry – despite that he/they vigorously protested their innocence. After first having another law firm in the case, Chef Rocchio and Valentino did not feel they were being adequately represented, and requested Attorney Scott Mager of Mager Paruas, LLC to enter the case.
Even though trial was already set for just months away, and no discovery had yet been performed, Mager valiantly entered the case. “Just because someone is successful doesn’t entitle another to sue them. I felt the suit just wasn’t right,” said Mager. “I was going to help them in any way I could, no matter what the odds.”
After a lengthy trial, Mager vindicated the rights of the clients and won a defense verdict. “The guy is a genius, and he saved our company,” said the client. “The way he presented the case to the jury, and how he handled the witnesses and humanized our wait staff to the jury, was amazing. And I have never seen a closing like that one!”