Bangladeshi-American man sentenced to 37 years in jail

Brajesh Upadhyay, Washington
Published : 08:53, Apr 25, 2019 | Updated : 09:23, Apr 25, 2019

Mirza Afzal Hussain has been jailed for 37 years on charges of developing a “romantic and sexual relationship” with his 12-year-old niece. Photo/HSIA US court has sentenced a Bangladeshi-American man to 37 years in prison on charges of developing a “romantic and sexual relationship” with his 12-year-old niece.
A federal jury had found Mirza Afzal Hussain, 56, guilty of forced coercion and enticement of a minor, document fraud and aggravated identity theft, on Jan 11.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
“This criminal put his own agenda first, hurting his own family,” said Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero, adding, “He thought he could get away with his despicable behavior by lying and blaming others for his actions.”
Hussain, a resident of Brandon Florida, had reportedly agreed to house his sister and her family, including two minor daughters, when the relatives legally immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh in 2010.
A statement released by the Department of Justice said Hussain’s relatives were culturally and socially isolated, did not have employment, lacked transportation, and spoke very little English and during their stay at his house, he developed a romantic and sexual interest in his 12-year old niece.
“He bought the child tight, American styled-clothing, romantic jewelry, and cellphones. He also sexually battered his niece and started living with her openly as if she were his spouse—in front of her family and his wife,” alleged the DoJ statement.
It said Hussain’s wife left him, and, in early 2012, the relatives and his 12-year-old niece, too, moved out of his home. For several years, Hussain continued to contact his niece. He signed her out of school, lingered outside her new residence, and continued to contact her by phone frequently.
Hussain was also accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to his niece—"professing his love for her and his intention to marry her, discussing sex with her and soliciting naked photographs from her”.
“He also manipulated her into falsifying reports claiming her parents were abusing her,” says the prosecution’s statement.
The investigators presented evidence that in November 2012, Hussain traveled to Bangladesh and obtained a false birth certificate that changed his niece’s birthdate, making her appear to be three years older.
He reportedly returned to the United States and used that birth certificate to fraudulently obtain a new Legal Permanent Resident Card reflecting her new birth year.
Nothing has been heard yet from Hussain's lawyer about his sentencing.