Crime

Judge drops GPS requirement for MMA fighter accused of rape but issues a warning, too

A mixed martial arts fighter accused of raping two women will no longer have to wear a GPS monitor but was warned by a Tarrant County judge that if he so much as “sneezes” at the wrong time or tries to contact the alleged victims, he’ll be back in jail.

Abdul Razak Alhassan’s defense attorney, Brandon Barnett, had argued in a bond hearing before Tarrant County Criminal Magistrate Timmie White on Tuesday morning that the GPS monitor interfered with the fighter’s ability to train properly as part of his MMA career.

Prosecutor Allyson Kucera had asked the judge to keep the GPS requirement in place. She told White the alleged victims both reside in Tarrant County and have concerns for their safety, especially given that the alleged rape occurred at one of their homes.

“They would prefer he be on the GPS at least while he’s in Tarrant County,” Kucera told the judge.

Alhassan, 33, was working as a bouncer at the Varsity Tavern at 1005 Norwood St. in March when Saginaw police allege he drove two intoxicated women home from the bar, then raped both women inside one of their homes.

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Abdul Razak Alhassan Tarrant County Sheriff's Office

A Tarrant County grand jury indicted Alhassan on two counts of sexual assault on Sept. 24.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Barnett called the GPS monitor requirement “really a condition of oppression rather than one ensuring that he’ll show up in trial.”

Heidi McCusker, Alhassan’s Tarrant County bond supervisor, testified that the fighter had committed no violations since being placed on bond in late April. She said that included when his conditions were modified to allow him to temporarily remove the monitor as he trained for and later fought in a UFC bout on Sept. 8.

“In the time I’ve gotten to know him through our 13 visits, he has not given me a reason to not trust him,” McCusker testified.

Alhassan’s UFC head coach, Sayif Saud, testified that he considers Alhassan one of the top 10 welterweight fighters in the world.

“He’s not a prospect; he’s a proven commodity,” Saud testified.

Saud testified that the previously loosened bond conditions did not allow Alhassan to train as intensively as required for his career, nor did they allow the fighter to undergo needed recovery regimens.

In ruling to eliminate the GPS requirement, the judge pointed out that Alhassan has no previous criminal record and that there had been no evidence that he has tried to contact either of the alleged victims.

“I don’t see any reason for me to stop him from making his living,” Judge White said.

But White warned Alhassan, “If he so much as sneezes during the wrong time,” or tries to contact his alleged victims, “you go back to jail.”

One of the victims’ mothers expressed disappointment that the tracking device requirement was lifted. She said she believes Alhassan’s profession as an MMA fighter and the nature of the allegations against him should classify him as a risk.

“These monitoring devices are intended to supervise the conduct of a person who has broken the law, (is) out on bail and to reduce any incentive they may have to violate the conditions of their release or to commit any new crime,” the mother said. “Releasing the device has made the victims and their families not feel safe. Our law system is to adhere to protect and serve.”

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