Man accused of sexual assault by 5 women takes stand

  • Article by: PAT PHEIFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 7, 2011 - 8:27 PM

Maksud Mahbub testified that he had consensual sex with one and kissed another but denied that he ever touched the others. The trial is to conclude on Tuesday.

"Absolutely not," Maksud Mahbub repeatedly answered Monday from the witness stand as his attorney, Earl Gray, questioned him whether he had molested or had nonconsensual sex with any of the five women who have accused him of sexually assaulting them while they were too drunk to consent.

"Did you ever rub her body, grab her breast area, kiss her?" Gray asked Mahbub about one woman who testified that he unzipped her pants and groped her while she was asleep.

"Absolutely not, sir," Mahbub answered.

Mahbub, 36, is charged in five complaints filed in Ramsey County District Court with six counts of third- and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Each of the women testified last week that Mahbub picked them up outside a bar in Minneapolis' Warehouse District and offered to give them a ride home. Instead, he took them to his townhouse in Shoreview. There, they said, they either passed out or fell asleep and awoke to find him groping or raping them.

Only one, who was with Mahbub on Sept. 4-5, 2009, initially went to police. The investigator found others by combing through taxicab records.

Mahbub said he met the first woman while he was having a smoke outside a bar called Drink. She asked him for a ride to her home in St. Paul but ultimately ended up at his home after she twice was unable to locate her place.

She fell asleep in his bedroom, he said, and he called her a cab when she awoke.

"Did you ever touch her sexually," Gray asked.

"Absolutely not, sir," Mahbub said.

The 25-year-old woman, however, testified that she was fully clothed when she passed out and naked when she awoke with him on top of her. He raped her, she said, then called her a cab.

Mahbub said he met another of the women after bar close on July 18, 2008. She asked him for a ride home but came to his house instead. They had consensual sex twice before he drove her home when they awoke, he said.

The woman testified that she was unconscious when he raped her.

When police searched Mahbub's home on Sept. 14, 2009, they found several pairs of women's underwear in a bag in his closet. One of the alleged victims identified a pair as hers.

Mahbub on Monday identified others as belonging to his ex-wife and his ex-girlfriend. Jewelry found by police belonged to his ex-wife, he said. Cell phones found by police he said were his own, his brother's and his ex-wife's.

Mahbub squirmed under cross-examination by prosecutor Yasmin Mullings, but pretty much stuck to his testimony.

He initially said that each woman "appeared that she was drinking" but finally admitted that each was "intoxicated."

Jury deliberations will begin Tuesday after the attorneys present their closing arguments.

Pat Pheifer • 612-741-4992

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