Virginia man admits murder of teenage Muslim girl, Nabra Hassanen
by Aysha Qamar
Last year, in June 2017, 17-year-old Muslim American girl Nabra Hassanen was attacked and murdered near her mosque in Ramadan.
Hassanen was attacked while walking back to the ADAMS Center mosque in Sterling, VA during the holy month of Ramadan by 25-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres.
In an awake of events, the Virginia man has pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of Hassanen.
Torres admitted all eight counts in a plea deal that will spare him the possibility of the death penalty.
Hassanen and her friends were walking back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) mosque after a pre-dawn, fast-food meal when Torres pulled over in what police described as a road rage incident.
Torres drove at the group, ramming his car into the curb. He then followed the group in his car as they ran into a parking lot before jumping out with a baseball bat. He attacked Hassanen and pulled her into his car.
Police said they found Torres hours later, circling the area with blood stains in his vehicle.
He eventually confessed and led police to where he dumped her body in a pond in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Hassanen died of blunt force trauma, according to a medical examiner.
ADAMS Center spokeswoman Hurunnessa Fariad said in a statement emailed to the BBC: “We are confident that justice will be served for Nabra and her family.”
“We pray that the sentencing of Mr Torres will bring peace and closure to the family and friends of Nabra Hassanen and allow for them to heal with loving memories of a smiling and gracious young lady.”
While investigators said they found no evidence it was a hate crime, this incident shook up the entire Islamic community. Fear struck as family members worried about the safety of their children particularly those who wear hijab.
Hassanen’s parents told reporters they were certain Nabra was targeted because of her faith, although the incident was not declared a hate crime.
Vigils are continuing to be held in her honor.
According to NBC News, Torres showed no reaction during his preliminary hearing, last October, when Hassanen’s mother threw a shoe at the defendant and her father lunged at him, shouting “You killed my daughter!”
His lawyers tried to argue learning disabilities as a defense yet had no success, Torres will now be sentenced to life in prison.