Thursday, April 24, 2014
PORTLAND — A man who is charged with kidnapping and gang raping a woman at gunpoint lost his bid for lower bail Tuesday, after his attorney argued that the sex was consensual and the woman made the accusations only when the men refused to take her home afterward.
A bail reduction was denied for Mohammed Abdi, shown here with his attorney Clifford Strike in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court on Tuesday.
John Patriquin / Staff Photographer
Mohammed Abdi of Portland, whose name is spelled Mohamed in some court records, has been in jail since his arrest in December.
Police linked him to the alleged attack on July 26 by matching his DNA profile to swabs taken from the victim, according to court records.
Abdi's attorney, Clifford Strike, argued in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court to have his client's bail reduced from the $200,000 set in December to $10,000.
In a written motion filed last week, Strike said that "significant parts of the alleged victim's first account of the assault are directly contradicted by direct evidence, both through eyewitness accounts and from some of the physical evidence."
Deputy District Attorney Megan Elam argued against the bail reduction, saying the victim was "raped by multiple assailants, including the defendant."
Elam also said Abdi is a poor candidate for low bail because of his "rather pitiful" history of appearing in court to face criminal charges.
Judge E. Paul Eggert, who heard Strike's motion and denied it, is the judge who initially set Abdi's bail.
On the night of the attack, a 32-year-old mother, who now lives out of state, visited Portland for a night out with a friend and met Abdi and five men with him in the Deering Oaks area, said Portland Detective Maryann Bailey in an affidavit seeking the charges against him.
The woman told police she got into a fight with her friend after midnight and called one of the men to ask for a ride home to Buxton.
After the woman got into an SUV with the men, they drove her to the Sagamore Village housing development and walked her to the nearby grounds of Hall Elementary School, according to the police affidavit.
One of the men had a handgun, loaded it in front of the woman and put it to her head, demanding that she perform a sex act on him. As she did, another man raped her. The men then continued to sexually assault her, according to the affidavit.
Police responded at 2:47 a.m. to reports of a woman on Purchas Street yelling for help, saying she was going to be shot and had been raped by six men, the affidavit says.
Police obtained video footage of the black SUV from the Cumberland Farms on Woodford Street and recovered condoms, wrappers and bottles from the school grounds, Bailey said in the affidavit.
In the motion he filed last week, Strike argued that the woman's rape allegations are "unsupported by any other witnesses or evidence" and that she "voluntarily asked to listen to 2 Chainz' music."
In an attached exhibit, the motion quotes the lyrics from the song, "No Lie," including, "I take ya girl and kidnap her, feed her to my mattress."
In court Tuesday, Strike and Elam first met behind closed doors.
Afterward, Strike asked the judge to disregard the reference to the lyrics.
Instead, he challenged the alleged victim's credibility as a witness.
"The District Attorney's Office is well aware she made multiple different statements regarding this particular incident," Strike said. "What's in dispute here is whether this was consensual."
Strike argued that the woman said she was raped after the men refused to drive her home. "Then and only then is when cries of alleged rape occur."
Elam argued that Abdi's co-defendant Francis Mezan "has made statements that he was present when these events occurred" and said the sex was consensual.
Eggert denied the motion to reduce bail, telling Strike there is strong evidence placing Abdi at the scene of the alleged crime.
Abdi, 23, of 97 Front St., faces three Class A felony charges, kidnapping and two counts of gross sexual assault, and two lesser charges, assault and terrorizing.
Mezan, 22, of 83 Front St., was indicted with Abdi on the same charges.
Each of the Class A felony charges carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at: