PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The victim in the statutory rape involving former Providence College basketball player and volunteer Brown University coach Abdul Abdullah had just turned 14 at the time, and she was related to him by marriage, the victim’s mother told the Target 12 Investigators.
Abdullah, 46, was released on $50,000 double surety bail Thursday, after he was arrested as a fugitive from justice in a decade-old case out of DeKalb County, Georgia.
A Cranston police officer pulled Abdullah over Monday night for allegedly running a stop sign, and discovered a 2006 arrest warrant after an NCIC background check.
After Abdullah was charged in Georgia in 2003, he was arrested in Rhode Island and eventually pleaded guilty to statutory rape in 2005, with the District Attorney dropping five other charges.
“When I heard he was arrested, I was elated,” the victim’s mother said in an interview from Georgia. “They had given him a slap on the wrist anyway. So, the least you can do is follow probation.”He served a six-month prison sentence, but records show he did not report to his probation officer, prompting the 2006 arrest warrant.
Abdullah, who was 27 at the time of the 1999 crime, said he made a terrible mistake that he still regrets.
“I’ve apologized to the victim,” Abdullah said. “It was my fault. I accept that responsibility and served my time. I was young and made a mistake, but that’s not me.”
He also reiterated what his attorney said in court.
“I had permission to come to Rhode Island and I called my probation officer in Georgia once a month,” Abdullah said. “And I was later told by the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office that the warrant was taken care of.”
The victim’s mother said even though the crime happened nearly 20 years ago, the incident is still ‘a stain’ on the family history that split the family in two.
“This is something that haunts a family forever. It’s something that kind of stains you,” she said. “You really don’t expect it to happen, and especially not with someone that you know.”
Abdullah, whose double surety bail required two people to post $5,000 dollars each for a pair of $50,000 bonds, said he is now working with an attorney to clear up the probation violation and the warrant. .
In court, his attorney pointed out while the arrest warrant was active, Abdullah’s probation period had run out.
She also said that Abdullah’s Georgia court file includes a Rhode Island address, which she said should’ve let that state’s authorities know where Abdullah was living.
Abdullah played basketball for CCRI and Providence College in the early 90’s, and served as a volunteer assistant coach for Brown for two years, until 2012. A spokesman for Brown would not talk specifically about Abdullah’s stint at the university, but did say volunteer coaches are submitted to background check.
He would not say whether or not Brown was aware of Abdullah’s record or the arrest warrant.
The victim’s mother cited court records that state Abdullah’s probation included “no unsupervised visits with children under the age of 16.”
“We have no idea if he followed that condition or any condition,” she said. “For someone to even think of something like this [crime] is mean and distorted. But to follow through with an assault on a child, you’re just evil. You shouldn’t even be in society. That’s how I feel about that.”
A status hearing in Abdullah’s fugitive from justice case is scheduled for early August in Kent County District Court.
Neither the DeKalb County District Attorney’s office nor the Sheriff’s office have responded to requests for comment.