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State v. Kargar

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
679 A.2d 81 (1996)


Facts

Mohammad Kargar (defendant) immigrated to the United States in 1990. In 1993, Kargar and his family babysat a neighbor’s daughter. While at Kargar’s house, the daughter saw Kargar kissing his eighteen-month-old son’s penis. She reported this to her mother. Her mother had seen a picture of Kargar kissing his son’s penis before. She reported the incidents to the police and Kargar was charged with two counts of gross sexual assault. Kargar presented witnesses at trial that testified that kissing a baby boy’s penis is a culturally accepted practice in Afghanistan. He therefore moved for dismissal based on the jurisdiction’s de minimis statute, which allows a court to dismiss charges against a defendant if, after examining the nature of the conduct and the nature of the surrounding circumstances, the court found that the Legislature probably did not intend to criminalize the defendant’s conduct. The trial court denied Kargar’s motion and found him guilty of both counts.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Dana, J.)

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