By Sara R. Johnson, for the Columbus Local News:

The findings of an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement involving Fathima Rifqa Bary have been unsealed.

The department’s report says there’s no evidence to support the allegations that the 17-year-old girl has made, including her allegation that her father, Mohamed Bary, threatened her life because she converted from Islam to Christianity.

The report had been sealed by Daniel Dawson, a judge in Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit Court, for 10 days, following a Sept. 3 arraignment. During the recent hearing, her parents, Mohamed and Asyha Bary, denied the allegations that Mohamed Bary threatened his daughter’s life.
The New Albany High School student fled from her parents’ home on July 20, taking a Greyhound bus to Orlando, Fla. to stay with Blake and Beverly Lorenz, pastors at Global Revolution Church in Orlando.

She reportedly first came in contact with the Lorenz’s online.

“We knew we didn’t do anything wrong. They (Lorenz’s) have brainwashed her,” Mohamed Bary said. “We need our daughter back.”

In the report, the department said it conducted an interview with the teen to address the allegations, and the report spelled out each one.

First, the teen claimed her father assaulted her when he had allegedly threatened to strike her with a laptop computer.

The incident reportedly happened in June after he had been notified by a friend that a Facebook page had information about the teen’s religious conversion.

The department reported that it did not indentify such an assault against her happening Florida, going on to say that the allegation occurred in Ohio, where the department has no jurisdiction.

Checks were made with Ohio law enforcement agencies, according to the report, and “no derogatory information” on Mohamed Bary was revealed.

In interviews with authorities Mohamed Bary denied that he had threatened his daughter.

The report said that he said he had lifted the computer as if he was going to throw it, but had decided not to because he had invested too much money in it to break it.

The teen also alleged she was a victim of aggravated assault — again, by her father — because he allegedly said, “I will kill you, tell me the truth.”

The conclusion was the same as the first allegation in that the department found “no derogatory information.”

Fathima Bary also allegedly said she would become a victim of an “honor killing” because of her religious conversion, a feeling that is based on her belief or understanding of Islamic faith and law.

Other than her father, the teen did not say who else would perform the “honor killing.”

The department found “no credible reports or threats” in relation to that allegation in either Florida or Ohio.

In addition, the department did not investigate the Islamic community because, according to the report, “an investigation into any person, religious or social organization without a specific identifiable criminal predicate is inappropriate.”

In talking with local, state and federal enforcement in both Columbus and Orlando, investigators were not notified of any identifiable threats, the report said.

The teen also said she had experienced child abuse citing two separate incidents in which her father struck her in the face.

She said the abuse ended while she was in middle school.

The department found no evidence supporting the allegation. Investigators spoke with Jeff Warner, New Albany-Plain Local City School District’s director of communications, about the allegation.

The school district “found no evidence of any reporting of abuse or suspected abuse,” Warner reportedly told the department, adding that Ohio is a mandatory abuse reporting state.

Mohamed Bary denied ever striking his daughter in an interview with investigators.

As to the teen’s conversion, the investigation summary said the teen was baptized in June 2009.

Mohamed Bary said he knew of her conversion in early 2009, but said because she was still under age and living in his house he had wanted her to keep studying and practicing Islam, the report stated.

Bary has previously said if his daughter comes home she will be allowed to study Christianity.

For now, the teen continues to stay with a Central Florida foster home.

All involved parties were ordered into mediation for 30 days, following the arraignment, and a pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 29.

A gag order has been placed on all attorneys involved in the case.

If the teen is allowed to come back to Ohio, the Barys said they will work with Franklin County Children Services.

The teen could live with a foster family for 30 days, while the entire family receives counseling.

Advertisements