As he took the stand on Thursday to testify against his former roommate, an Iraqi man gave jurors a glimpse into the life of a war-refugee and military translator and the circumstances that brought him to Colorado Springs.
Ali Mohammed Hasan Al Juboori, 24, pleaded guilty on Monday to false reporting in connection with a July sexual assault that left a Colorado Springs woman with life-threatening injuries.
On Thursday he testified in the trial of Yasir Jabbar Jasim, 21, who is being tried as an accessory after he allegedly watched another Iraqi man brutally violate the woman with his fist.
Al Juboori’s testimony followed graphic descriptions by nurses and doctors who examined the woman’s battered and bloodied body the day after the assault.
Al Juboori accepted a plea bargain partially out of fear that he would be deported to Iraq, he told the court on Thursday. When he was 15, a love of American movies inspired him to learn English; when the American troops invaded Iraq in 2003, he began working as a military translator, going on missions and surviving two explosions, he said. After two and half years, he said, he qualified for a “special immigrant visa” — a program created in 2006 to help thousands of Iraqi translators and informants fearing for their lives escape the country.
Another defendant in the case, Jasim Mohammed Hasin Ramadon, who is accused of raping the woman, came to the United States under a similar program, and adopted the last name of an American soldier he worked with, Army 1st Sgt. Daniel Hendrex.
The case of Ramadon and four other Iraqis has repeatedly drawn international attention, since Ramadon was featured in memoir by Hendrex, “A Soldier’s Promise.” Al Juboori told the court that his family in Baghdad had seen news coverage of the assault case.
Al Juboori, who came to Colorado Springs three years ago, told the court he did not witness the rape in his apartment but later found blood splotches on his carpet. For the group of Iraqi men — Mustafa Sataar Al Feraji, Sarmad Fadhi Mohammed, Jasim and Al Juboori — troubles on the night of July 22 began when they were kicked out of a downtown nightclub, the Mansion , Al Juboori said. The men and a friend who was with them, Ramadon, had been drinking; in the early morning hours they scattered from the club, and later reconvened at the apartment at 2516 Gold Rush Drive that Al Juboori shared with Al Feraji, Mohammed and Jasim.
Al Juboori said he left to spend the night at his girlfriend’s house, but returned the next morning to find the apartment cluttered with empty glasses and cups — his roommates and Ramadon had clearly had a party the night before. But when he questioned his roommate, Jasim, he learned little more; an “old” woman had come to the apartment, Jasim said, and Ramadon had fingered her, and then left with her.
The Gazette generally withholds the names of sexual assault victims.
Although he allegedly lied when initially questioned by Colorado Springs police detectives , Jasim revealed more details days later, a detective testified Thursday. He told detectives that, from his couch, he watched as Ramadon repeatedly violated the woman until she began to bleed, according to testimony. Ramadon left the apartment with the woman, then returned and banged loudly on the door until the roommates opened it.
“You guys have to get out of here,” Ramadon reportedly said. Jasim then noticed the blood on Ramadon’s pants, the detective said he was told. “Man, she’s going to die. There’s blood everywhere,” Ramadon reportedly said.
Forensic Nurse Examiner Kim Nash testified that the woman told her she noticed the group of Iraqi men that night as she went to get her mail. A night nurse herself, the woman was used to staying up late, and she witnessed a late-night fight within a group of young men. Nash testified that the women said she decided to intervene because they “reminded her of her son.” She followed the men to their apartment — number seven, where Jasim and Al Juboor lived — and they told her “how difficult life was in a foreign country,” she told Nash.
Nash said the woman told her she felt like she was making a real connection with the group, and accepted something to drink; she woke up hours later in her apartment, covered in blood and in extreme pain.
At the hospital, Nash said she put the sexual assault exam on hold while the woman’s severe blunt force trauma injuries were treated. The woman was in so much pain that emergency room doctor Kathy Cook and Nash couldn’t properly examine her — they would have to wait until she was heavily sedated to assess her injuries, Cook said in court. Cook quickly decided the woman needed major surgery.
Jasim’s trial will continue Friday, while the trials of two other men, Sarmad Mohammed and Mustafa Al Feraji, were pushed to February and March.
Also,Ramadon’s trial was put on hold until April , after 4th Judicial District Judge Theresa M. Cisneros ruled that some of the evidence against him had been obtained illegally by police , an attorney said.
Contact Ryan Maye Handy: 636-0261