Who are Sanad Musallam and Yaser Shohatee? NYPD cops fired for having sex with 'troubled' teen
Two NYPD officers, Sanad Musallam and Yaser Shohatee, were fired for having sex with a teen aged 15. The victim was allegedly enrolled in a teen program at the department. The officers will probably evade charges because the victim isn't ready to cooperate with prosecutors.
The victim, whose identity has not been disclosed, alleged that officer Sanad Musallam asked her to perform oral sex on him in his car and when she refused, he asked for alternative sexual favors. The officers were dismissed on March 25, 2021. It is not known at the moment what they did at the department between the dates of the incidents and their firing. According to assistant deputy commissioner of trials Paul Gamble's 41-page decision, the officers were found guilty of "shocking professional and sexual misconduct" and questions were raised over the officers' testimonies repeatedly. He found Shohantee's demeanor "shocking" and called Musallam's testimony "self-serving and largely unworthy of belief".
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Court documents revealed that the victim said she had sex with Shohatee "four or five times at his apartment in the winter of 2015- 2016". However, the former officers will not face any charges as the victim 'refused' to cooperate with prosecutors, according to a district attorney spokesman. The victim was enrolled in the department's 'Precinct Explorer' program, built to strengthen community ties and provide young people aged 14 to 20 with an introduction to careers in law enforcement. The victim was enrolled in the program from fall 2015 to spring 2016.
Shohatee admitted to bringing the minor to his apartment at least three times for 30 minutes each and connecting with her on Snapchat. Gamble said, "The insidious and sinister nature of his repeated actions would cause any responsible adult, let alone a parent, to recoil in horror." Musallam admitted to having a photo of the teen "lying prone on a bed in her underwear in event that she made an allegation of misconduct against him" along with meeting with her alone in a parked car in front of her home. Reportedly, text messages from the minor's mom to to Musallam in July 2016 show her asking the officer to block her child because of "emojis and flirty messages".
Gamble wrote that the teenager was "exposed to adult sexual behavior where the participants wield disparate power". "Both Respondents are adult males and, more importantly, authority figures with apparent power. They are also authority figures who enjoy an aura of presumptive credibility in some venue, " he added. He then said that the former officers "targeted The Minor as a particularly vulnerable individual they were morally obliged to protect but chose to take advantage of to satisfy their depraved interests". After the investigation commenced, Musallam allegedly called the teen's mom and told her that he "had a family" and "didn't want any trouble".
Brooklyn DA spokesman Oren Yaniv said, "While the young victim repeatedly refused to participate in any criminal or other legal proceedings, we referred our findings to the Internal Affairs bureau, ultimately leading to the officers' termination." NYPD informed that the former officers "forfeited their privilege" to be a part of the police department. "We applaud the fact that it is as a result of an internal NYPD disciplinary trial that these individuals are no longer members of this Police Department," the statement said.
Shohatee worked for NYPD since January 2005, while Musallam joined in July 2008. The officers are unlikely to face a judge outside of the police department.