A Tory MP has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy after forcing him to drink gin and tonic at a party. A court heard how Imran Ahmad Khan dragged the teenager upstairs, pushed him onto a bed and asked him to watch pornography before the attack at a house in Staffordshire in 2008.
The 48-year-old MP for Wakefield, West Yorkshire, denied sexual assault, claiming he only touched the teenager’s elbow because he was “extremely upset” after a conversation about his confused sexuality. But today, the MP was found guilty by a jury after around five hours of deliberations at Southwark Crown Court.
The victim told a jury he was left feeling “scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked and surprised” after Khan touched his feet and legs, coming within “a hair’s breadth” of his privates, as he tried to sleep in a top bunkbed. He ran to his parents of him and a police report was made at the time, but no further action was taken because the youngster did not want to make a formal complaint.
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However, he told jurors in court that “it all came flooding back” when he learned Khan was standing in the December 2019 general election. He made an allegation to the Conservative Party press office days before the politician won the red wall seat, however he said he said he was n’t “taken very seriously”.
Khan, who was sent a questionnaire by Staffordshire Police rather than being interviewed under caution at a station because of “Covid protocols in place at the time”, denied sexual assault.
The victim said he “vividly” remembered the gin bottle Khan took to the party, the smell of the spirit in the glass tumbler, and the fizz of the bubbles as he was forced by Khan to drink the cocktail. He said Khan also watched him do pull-ups, asked him to watch pornography and told him he was “good looking” in a “love whisper” in his ear, which was “disgusting and really slimy”.
Asked during the trial if he had any agenda in speaking about sexuality with the boy, he said: “No, absolutely not. Not at all. I was just trying to be kind and helpful to a young man who wanted to talk. He seemed very keen to want to talk about this (sexuality). I think it would have been rude or perhaps a tad cruel to shut him down.”
The MP has already been suspended by the Conservative Party and now faces being thrown out of the House of Commons if he is handed a prison sentence of more than a year. Otherwise, he could be subject to a petition to oust him in the recall process.
Labor has called for his immediate resignation as an MP following the verdict. A spokesman for the party said: “Imran Ahmad Khan should immediately resign so a by-election can take place and the people of Wakefield can get the representation they deserve.”
The judge, Mr Justice Baker, said he will sentence Khan on a later date. He released Khan on bail, telling him: “You have been convicted by a jury of this offense of sexual assault and you will have to be sentenced in due course. I make it clear that all sentencing options, including immediate custody, are being considered by the court.”
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