Lisa Redmond, Lowell Sun, July 8, 2016
A 22-year-old Syrian refugee is behind bars after only two months in the United States after he was accused Thursday night of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old girl at a state-run swimming pool in Lowell.
In Lowell District Court on Friday, Emad Hasso, of Lowell, was ordered held on $25,000 cash bail after pleading not guilty via an interpreter to one count of indecent assault and battery on someone under 16.
Judge Stacy Fortes set the bail over the defense attorney’s objections, because Hasso’s only ties to this country are his family members with whom he lives.
Prosecutor Sam Miller said that around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, the 13-year-old Lowell girl was at the Raymond Lord Memorial Pool at the North Common Park in Lowell when she said a man approached her, touched her upper thigh and asked her age.
The girl told him she was too young for him and walked away, Miller said.
The man, who was later identified as Hasso, allegedly began to follow the girl around the pool and approached her again when she was swimming, touching her upper thigh and again asking her age.
The girl responded that she was a “little kid, leave me alone,” Miller said.
Other people at the pool, including the lifeguard, saw some of the interaction between Hasso and the alleged victim, and intervened, Miller said.