Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Slap On The Wrist For The Islamic Saudi Academy

From this July 30, 2008 article in the Washington Post:
The director general of a controversial private Islamic school in Fairfax County has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to report child abuse and was fined $500.

Abdalla I.M. Al-Shabnan, head of the Islamic Saudi Academy on Route 1 in the Mount Vernon area, was arrested last month by Fairfax police after allegedly being informed of the possible sexual abuse of a 5-year-old student at the school. School authorities are required by law to report alleged child abuse within 72 hours.

Al-Shabnan was charged with misdemeanor counts of failing to report child abuse and obstruction of justice. In a plea agreement, Al-Shabnan pleaded guilty July 24 to the failure to report charge and Fairfax prosecutors agreed to dismiss the obstruction charge, according to court records.

Al-Shabnan did not return a phone message today seeking comment. His attorney, Robert C. Whitestone, also did not respond to a request for comment.
Whitestone is one of the premier defense attorneys in Fairfax County. As a local here in Northern Virginia, I well know the reputation of that particular legal firm. They are masters of plea bargaining and the attorneys' attorneys! And their fees match their skills, too.

Continuing now with the WaPo article:
Cultural differences may have led to the episode which resulted in Al-Shabnan's arrest.


Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Ian M. Rodway said the plea agreement "was satisfactory to all the people involved in the case."
Rodway used to be a defense attorney - and a formidable one, at that. Still, I wonder how he would explain those aforementioned "cultural differences."

The case of Abdulla Al-Shabnan was supposed to come before the court on August 1. That won't happen now, of course.

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