March 15, 2019
An alleged victim of sexual assault claims a mosque in Philadelphia conducted her marriage to an adult man when she was underage.
The allegation has police investigating whether childhood weddings are being conducted at the Masjid Uthman Dan Fodiyo mosque on the 4800 block of Paschall Avenue in Kingsessing.
The girl, now 17, said she was married there at age 14 to a man named Rajmann Sanders, 6ABC reported. Sanders is reportedly twice the age of the girl, who made the claims of sexual assault in a video publicly posted to Facebook two weeks ago.
In the video, the alleged victim claimed that Sanders began sexually assaulting her and her 10-year-old sister shortly after the marriage began. She also says the mosque worked to cover up the assaults and "everything was swept under the rug."
Sanders is charged with more than a dozen offenses, including rape and indecent assault. He is currently behind bars as the victims are placed in the protective custody of the Department of Human Services. One complaint, 6ABC reported, said Sanders threatened to shoot one of the girls during an assault.
Police have issued search warrants at the mosque and at the home of one of the mosque's leaders. The investigation is ongoing.