Former PC basketball star in court on ’06 statutory rape warrant

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence College basketball great and former volunteer coach at Brown University faced a judge Wednesday on a statutory rape warrant dating back more than a decade.

Wearing Brown basketball shorts, Abdul Abdullah appeared in a Kent County courtroom charged with violating his probation.

Court records show Abdullah in 2005 pleaded guilty to statutory rape in Georgia for an incident on New Year’s Day 1999.

Abdullah’s attorney on Wednesday told the court his client thought he had approval to move back to Rhode Island after he served a six-month sentence.

The prosecution argued that, according to the DeKalb County district attorney’s office, there is no record that Abdullah had permission to leave and not report to his probation officer.

During a traffic stop on Monday, a Cranston police officer ran a National Criminal Database check on Abdullah and discovered the outstanding warrant from 2006. Abdullah’s attorney said that while the warrant was active, his probation ended.

Abdullah was a star for the PC Friars in the early 90’s and later volunteered as an assistant coach at Brown for two years, ending in 2012.

Brown declined to comment on the case specifically but told Target 12 that background checks are conducted for all volunteer coaches.

A spokesperson for Brown would not say whether or not the university knew about Abdullah’s record or the warrant.

Abdullah’s family was in court for the hearing. They said Abdullah thought the case was closed and had no idea there was an active warrant with his name on it.

His brother, Yusef Abdullah, told Target 12 it’s terrible that you can take a man’s freedom away when he already served his time and hasn’t been in trouble since.

Abdullah was given an opportunity for double surety bail, meaning two different individuals would have to pay $5,000 each for two $50,000 bonds. Abdullah’s family was not sure if he was able to make bail.

Abdullah is due back in court next month.

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau