New York police officers fired for 'depraved' sexual assault of young girl they were 'morally obligated' to protect

The pair remained police officers for four years after the allegations were raised.
The pair remained police officers for four years after the allegations were raised. Photo credit: NYPD

Warning: This article discusses sexual assault.

Two New York police officers have been fired for raping a teenage girl who was part of the department's outreach programme. 

An internal New York Police Department (NYPD) judge found the "shocking professional and sexual misconduct" by officers Yaser Shohatee and Sanad Mudallam's would cause "any responsible recoil in horror".

Documents released last week show Mudallam, now 41, and Shohatee, now 34, deliberately targeted the 15-year-old girl and sent her hundreds of explicit texts and photographs.

Both men sexually assaulted the young girl.

In the ruling, the men's offending was described as "depraved".

They were both found to have targeted the minor, "a particularly vulnerable individual they were morally obligated to protect".

Instead, they "chose to take advantage to satisfy their depraved interests". 

Musallam met the young girl in 2008 after her mother asked him to "watch out" for her daughter following her attempt to run away from home.

She gave him her daughter's phone number and between 2015 and 2016 he exchanged 742 texts and 80 calls with the teen.

The girl told her mother that Musallam had coerced her into performing a sexual act while in his car and had her send him a revealing photo of herself, USA Today reports.

Shohatee met the teen in 2015 when she was part of the NYPD's Law Enforcement Explorers programme - which Musallam recommended her for.

The pair exchanged hundreds of messages and the teen says Shohatee raped her "four or five times" at his apartment when she visited him alone. 

The girl's mother filed a complaint and an internal investigation began in 2018. 

Both officers denied all allegations of sexual contact and remained part of the NYPD for four years after the allegations were reported.

They were finally fired on March 25 - three weeks after the ruling. 

Neither officer has been criminally charged as the teenager refused to continue cooperating with police.