Texas imam ordered to pay $2.55 million in sexual misconduct case


(RNS) — A Texas judge has ordered a Muslim cleric to pay $2.55 million to a Muslim woman who says he groomed her for sex after counseling her for years when she was in her teens.

The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, filed a lawsuit in July 2018 against Imam Zia Ul-Haq Sheikh, claiming he had coerced her into sex with him at a local motel after years of exploitation, including sexting and lurid video chat requests.

“We are thrilled at this outcome for Jane Doe,” said Amy Jones, head of the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, who served as an expert witness for the plaintiff. “I hope that survivors everywhere will take this as confirmation that times are changing. This is a new world in which survivors have the hope of being believed and perpetrators will be held accountable.”

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