An Ohio University student from Oman was convicted Wednesday of a first-degree felony count of rape and several misdemeanor crimes.
Mohammed Nasser Rashid Hamed Al-Mashrafi, 23, of Athens (originally from Oman, he was here on a student visa), was sentenced to a mandatory four years in prison with five years of post-release control on the single count of rape, a third-degree misdemeanor count of public indecency, and a first-degree misdemeanor count of menacing by stalking. He's been under an interim suspension from OU since he was arrested late last year, OU spokesperson Carly Leatherwood said Wednesday, and he remained under that suspension as of Wednesday.
Al-Mashrafi also will be subject to Tier III sex offender status, which requires registration/verification requirements every 90 days for the rest of his life, according to a release from the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office.
However, the U.S. State Department has a holder placed on Al-Mashrafi, meaning he could be permanently removed from the U.S. at any time during his sentence, or at its conclusion. Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said Wednesday that that action would first require a hearing and further conversation between the state of Ohio and the Department of State.
Blackburn added that his office found another alleged victim of Al-Mashrafi in Kentucky, who went to school with Al-Mashrafi at Western Kentucky University, and who said she was sexually assaulted by him (she was called as a witness by Blackburn’s office in this case). That case was never reported to police in Kentucky, although it did go through Western Kentucky’s student disciplinary system, resulting in Al-Mashrafi’s suspension from that school, Blackburn said.
OU was not aware of that prior disciplinary record when it received Al-Mashrafi’s application to attend OU, Blackburn said.
“On his application (to OU) he lied about having past disciplinary issues, although he admitted he wasn’t allowed to return to his previous institution,” Blackburn alleged. “Nobody (at OU) caught that, and they didn’t look into it,” leading to Al-Mashrafi being accepted at OU.
OU spokesperson Leatherwood declined to comment on the specifics of Al-Mashrafi's application due to FERPA regulations around student records. However, she did provide a general statement on OU's application review process.
"I can tell you that Ohio University’s process is to review discipline from prior institutions reported by applicants and, while each individual’s situation is evaluated holistically, an individual reporting a recent serious sexual misconduct violation would not be admitted," Leatherwood said.
Blackburn has previously reported that Al-Mashrafi had been accused of stalking “multiple women in and around Athens,” at times using their social media accounts to do so.
“Al-Mashrafi is further accused of visiting a local spa where he was observed fondling himself and, upon being asked to leave, refused to pay for his services and ultimately left without paying,” Blackburn reported in the initial press release on Al-Mashrafi being charged.
Athens County Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Pepper previously explained that Al-Mashrafi had sexually assaulted a woman in his car while at the Athens Parking Garage, and kept the doors locked to prevent her from leaving during that incident.