Jury convicts Eastern Shore man on 30-year-old rape charges

Khalil Muslimani (Photo courtesy http://co.accomack.va.us/)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A jury is recommending life in prison for an Eastern Shore man accused of sexually abusing and fathering at least one child with his step daughter.

Charges of sexual abuse and rape against Khalil Muslimani date back to the 1980s in Accomack County. WAVY’s Matt Gregory reports a jury found him guilty of the charges in court on Wednesday, and recommended a life sentence.

Wednesday morning proved to be a day of emotional testimony.

First to take the stand was Muslimani’s ex wife, the victim’s mother, Ruth Ann Carpenter. Carpenter explained that her name was forged on the son’s birth certificate and said she knew about the sexual abuse.

Next, the most compelling and emotional testimony of the trial came from the victim, Stacy Johnson. She spoke softly and slowly on the witness stand.

Johnson described how Muslimani repeatedly raped her throughout her childhood. She said in 1986, at age 12, she got pregnant. Johnson said Muslimani and her mother concealed the pregnancy. They fitted her with over-sized clothes and hid her from company, until she gave birth to a son in 1987. She ended her testimony and said it wasn’t until 2014, that she had the strength to stand up for herself.

In closing arguments, the Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan pointed out that Johnson’s story is backed by the most obvious evidence: a son. Morgan pointed out DNA showed a 99.9 percent chance that the son is Johnson and Muslimani’s.

The defense argued the evidence is based on recollections and probabilities, but nothing concrete. The jury deliberated for nearly 20 minutes then came back with a verdict of guilty for rape.

Stacy Johnson broke down and wept as the verdict came down. Muslimani said nothing, but shook his head as a deputy wheeled him out of the courtroom.

Muslimani was sentenced earlier this year to two life terms for sexually abusing his niece over 15 years ago.