Man guilty in assaults of drunk women

  • Article by: PAT PHEIFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 9, 2011 - 11:25 PM

Maksud Mahbub picked up the women in local bars, took them home and sexually assaulted them. He was convicted on four of five charges and may face four years in prison.

Maksud Mahbub, accused of sexually assaulting five women after picking them up at downtown Minneapolis bars, was found guilty Wednesday on four of five criminal sexual misconduct charges.

During his weeklong trial in Ramsey County District Court, Mahbub, 36, testified he had consensual sex twice with one of the women and that he kissed another, but said he never touched the others.

Jurors, for the most part, rejected that testimony. He was taken into custody and will be sentenced April 20 by District Judge Judith Tilsen.

According to state sentencing guidelines, he faces about 3 1/2 to four years in prison.

After the verdict, defense attorney Earl Gray said: "It's a classic example of someone who doesn't understand our culture being convicted of crimes he didn't intend to commit."

Prosecutor Yasmin Mullings told the jury during her closing argument Tuesday that Mahbub tried to play "Mr. Nice Guy."

He would approach intoxicated and vulnerable young women outside bars in Minneapolis' Warehouse District. He would offer to help. Then he'd take them to his home and have sex with them after they fell asleep or passed out, she said.

Gray told the jury that picking up women and having sex with them isn't illegal.

Mahbub was found guilty of one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct -- rape using force or coercion -- in connection with an incident on Sept. 4-5, 2009. The victim, who was the first to go to police, said she and a female friend went out to drink and dance. She had a total of about five beers and six shots of liquor. When she lost track of her friend at Sneaky's Pete's bar, she texted her boyfriend and another male friend for a ride home.

The next thing she remembers, she testified, she was in Mahbub's car, then at his townhouse. She fell asleep fully clothed in his bedroom and woke up naked with him on top of her, she said. Although she managed to push him off twice, he raped her, she said.

Mahbub claimed he never touched the woman.

He was acquitted of one third-degree charge in which the woman testified that she'd had two or three drinks on July 18, 2008, and someone may have slipped a date-rape drug into her drink while she was in the bar. She was "woozy" by the time she ended up at Mahbub's house, she said. She became violently ill, the woman said. She said Mahbub raped her and took photos of her while she was unconscious.

Mahbub said they had consensual sex twice and that she had broached the idea of taking photos.

He was found guilty of three fourth-degree charges in connection with incidents on Jan. 6, 2008; July 4, 2009; and Aug. 29, 2009. Two of those women said Mahbub offered them a ride home, then took them to his house. Another went with him after he told her that her friends would be at a party at his house. All three said they fell asleep or passed out and awoke to find him groping them over their clothes.

Pat Pheifer • 612-741-4992

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