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Friday, April 12, 2024

Attacker of Muslim State Representative in Connecticut pleads guilty

Andrey Desmond, 30, pleaded guilty to a series of felonies stemming from his attack on State Representative Maryam Khan.

In a case that sent shockwaves through Connecticut’s political landscape, Andrey Desmond, 30, pleaded guilty to a series of felonies stemming from his attack on State Representative Maryam Khan. The incident, which occurred outside a prayer service in June 2023, has been a harrowing ordeal for Khan and her community. Now, with Desmond’s admission of guilt, a semblance of justice emerges.

The Attack

Representative Maryam Khan, the first Muslim to serve in Connecticut’s House of Representatives, was assaulted by Desmond outside a prayer service at the XL Center arena in Hartford. The attack, which took place during Eid al-Adha, a significant religious event marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage, shocked many across the state.

Read More: Attack on Connecticut State representative Maryam Khan

Legal Proceedings

Desmond pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault, attempted strangulation, and risk of injury to a minor, all serious felonies. Despite Khan’s desire for a more severe sentence, the plea deal stipulates a five-year prison term for Desmond. However, this agreement also ensures that Desmond will be required to register as a sex offender, undergo counseling, and adhere to his medication regimen post-release.

Representative Khan’s Response

Maryam Khan, while present at the hearing, chose not to comment publicly. Her lawyer, Aaron Romano, expressed Khan’s desire for privacy to process the day’s events. However, Romano emphasized that Khan looks forward to the attacker’s sentencing on June 4, indicating her commitment to seeking closure and justice.

Desmond’s Apology

During the proceedings, Desmond expressed a desire to apologize to Representative Khan. However, Judge David Gold cautioned him against making any statements that could potentially jeopardize the plea agreement. Despite this, Desmond’s willingness to acknowledge the harm he caused suggests a glimmer of remorse amidst the gravity of his actions.

Read More: Palestinian-American student shot in Vermont is paralyzed

Court records reveal Desmond’s history of mental illness, shedding light on potential factors contributing to his behavior. Despite this, he was deemed competent to stand trial after a court-ordered evaluation. This aspect of the case highlights the complexities surrounding mental health within the criminal justice system.