Connecticut lawmaker attacked after Muslim service says she sustained multiple physical injuries

Jul 5, 2023, 4:09 PM

A Connecticut state legislator who was attacked last month as she left a Muslim prayer service made her first public comments about the incident on Wednesday, saying she sustained multiple physical injuries from what she described as an attempted sexual assault and violent physical assault.

Rep. Mayram Khan, who was with her children and sister outside a downtown Hartford arena taking pictures when the attack occurred, said in a written statement that she was grateful to the “courageous men who came to my aid” and chased down her assailant until police arrived.

“Their courage and tenacity in those moments helped to save my life, the lives of my children and many other Muslim women and children that were still inside the XL Center,” said Khan, referring to the roughly 4,000 other people who attended the service marking Eid al-Adha, the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage by Muslims to Mecca.

Khan, who said she is “on a long journey of physical and emotional healing,” said she remains concerned about “the lack of security at one of the largest Muslim gatherings on the day of Eid in Hartford.”

Farhan Memon, the chair of the Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said at the time that the man made obscene remarks, grabbed Khan, hit her and threw her to the ground.

Khan, a Democrat from Windsor, is scheduled to appear Thursday at a news conference at the Legislative Office Building to discuss the incident. The Associated Press doesn’t generally identify people who report attemped sexual assaults unless they publicly identify themselves.

The suspect, Andrey Desmond, 30, was held in lieu of $250,000 bond at his arraignment last week on charges including misdemeanor assault, unlawful restraint, breach of peace and interfering with police. Authorities have said he could still face additional charges.

An email was sent seeking comment from Desmond’s public defender but there was no immediate response.

A police report said Desmond allegedly made lewd comments to Khan and tried to kiss her. When the legislator attempted to pull away, Desmond slapped her across the face and let go of her neck, causing her to fall to the ground, suffering minor injuries, according to the report.

Khan told police she does not know Desmond.

Desmond was chased down and held by two bystanders, one of whom kicked him in the face after he was on the ground and had stopped fighting, police said. That man is expected to be charged with assault, according to the report. A Hartford Police spokesperson said Wednesday that no charges have been filed in connection with the bystanders and the incident remains under investigation.

Khan became the first Muslim member of the Connecticut House when she won a special election for the seat in March 2022.

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Connecticut lawmaker attacked after Muslim service says she sustained multiple physical injuries