NASHUA — A refugee from Myanmar accused of inappropriately touching three young girls in Nashua did not show up for a recent court appearance, and an arrest warrant has been issued.
Mohammod Rafique, 29, of 50 Lake St., apt. C., failed to appear for a hearing at Hillsborough County Superior Court South in Nashua. A local judge issued an arrest warrant, which is still active.
Rafique is accused of engaging in sexual contact with a 10-year-old girl and a 7-year-old girl during a sleepover at a city residence on Aug. 26, 2017. He is also accused of simple assault against a 12-year-old girl at the same sleepover, and attempting to kiss a 9-year-old girl, according to court records. Rafique is facing two felony charges of felonious sexual assault, three counts of simple assault and one count of attempted simple assault. He was previously released on personal recognizance bail.
“Counsel has not been able to locate and communicate … to Mr. Rafique,” states court records.
Previously, Attorney Anthony Naro claimed that Rafique, who speaks Rohingya, has been unable to promptly obtain interpreters to assist with the judicial process.
“Mr. Rafique, in addition to being a member of a stateless, ethnic minority subject to persecution in his homeland, speaks a language that is quite rare to find in New Hampshire,” Naro wrote in court documents, adding the one interpreter for the Language Bank that the defense is aware of currently has a conflict with the New Hampshire Public Defender and cannot be retained for services.
For now, Naro is using the services of interpreters by phone, he explained, describing this as a “logistical nightmare” to coordinate with the Hillsborough County House of Corrections.
The communication problems have rendered Rafique incompetent to stand trial, according to Naro, who previously asked the court to reduce Rafique’s bail so that they would have a better chance of communicating.
The victims told authorities that Rafique was allegedly drunk when he became “touchy, touchy,” with them. He is accused of touching the buttocks of two girls, and touching the upper inner thigh of another girl “for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification,” states court records. He is also accused of kissing one of the girls on her cheek, and attempting to kiss another girl on the cheek, “but she blocked his attempt with her hand and told him ‘no,’” states the complaints.