HomeAsian AmericansMan who attacked Rep. Maryam Khan sentenced to prison

Man who attacked Rep. Maryam Khan sentenced to prison

A Connecticut man who attacked Rep. Maryam Khan last June, and pleaded guilty, has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Andrew Desmond appeared in the Hartford Superior Court on Tuesday and also received 15 years of special parole as well as a standing protection order for assaulting Khan in June 2023 outside of an Eid al-Adha service. Desmond is also required to register as a sex offender and receive mental health treatment. He pleaded guilty to the charges of attempted third-degree sexual assault, attempted first-degree strangulation, and risk of injury to a minor.

According to Khan, she and her family were taking pictures after attending an Eid al-Adha service at the XL Center Arena in Hartford, Connecticut, when Desmond made sexual advances towards her and her daughters, before slapping Khan, putting her into a chokehold, and throwing her to the ground. As a result, Khan suffered a concussion and injuries to her right arm and shoulder. Desmond was chased down by two bystanders that held him down until police arrived and arrested him.

After the hearing, Khan said “I”m glad that this has come to a close, I look forward to putting this behind me and moving forward”, in an interview with NBC Connecticut.

“What happened to me just over a year ago was tragic and will leave a mark on my life and all of those involved”, Khan stated in an NBC News interview. “But I am proud to see some semblance of justice today. It is important to note that what occurred that day is far more common than we would care to admit”.

Khan had called for a hate crime investigation, shortly after the attack happened, and also accused the police of downplaying the violence that happened in their police report. In the end, hate crime allegations were not filed, despite calls from Khan’s supporters and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

After the hearing, Khan said the case as a whole displays the shortcomings of the mental health system. She told NBC Connecticut that “Unfortunately, this is a result of some of those lacks so I’m glad to be in a position to have the ability to be able to do some stuff about that,”.

Court records show Desmond had a history of mental illness, and has been placed on medication and other mental health disorders since pleading guilty, according to his attorney in court. Desmond’s defense attorney also said that “He’s very regretful for what happened. He’s extremely regretful. He is so sorry that he caused pain for the totally decompensated that schizophrenia had taken over”.

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