Boy stands by claim of sex assault by imam

A 13-year-old boy insisted in court he was telling the truth when he claimed he was sexually assaulted by his imam at a mosque.

The boy, who cannot be named, claims Mohammed Hanif Khan, 42, sexually assaulted him when he was 12 inside the mosque on Capper Street, Stoke on Trent.

Khan, of Owler Lane, Sheffield, denies eight charges, including attempting to rape the boy's teenage cousin as he stayed over at his home one evening.

He is charged with three counts of rape, four counts of attempted rape and one count of sexual activity with a child, all alleged to have taken place between July 1 and October 16, 2009.

The jury has heard that part of Khan's job was to lead prayers and give Islamic education lessons to boys at evening classes. The boy claimed in police interviews in October 2009 that he was singled out by Khan on several occasions

and he had been assaulted in areas of the mosque not covered by CCTV.

The court heard the boy, who is giving evidence from behind a screen, told police the last assault, said to be on October 16, 2009, happened in a private room.

But Robert Woodcock QC, defending, said to him: "You keep saying, 'I think, I think, I think'."

He suggested the event must have been exceedingly unpleasant. "So where did it happen the last time it happened?" "I think it was in the classroom," the boy replied.

When asked: "Did it happen at all?", he replied: "It did happen."

Questioned as to why he could not remember exactly

what had happened and where, he said: "Because it's been a long time."

The case at Nottingham Crown Court continues today.