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Always Get Better   

Man allegedly prowled bars for 'drunken prey'

Complaints say he'd get women even more impaired, force himself on them

By Emily Gurnon, St. Paul Pioneer Press [email protected]


A Shoreview man thought he had found a good way to get sex: go to a bar, find a woman who was drunk, buy her more drinks and then take her home and force himself on her. That's the allegation in four criminal complaints filed in Ramsey County District Court against Maksud Mahbub, 35, who also made it a habit to remove the batteries from his victims' cell phones to prevent them from calling for help, the complaints allege.

One woman awoke as Mahbub grabbed at her on his bed and tried to remove her clothes. She told him to call her a cab or she would call the police. "He told her that she had no phone, no money and that she was not going anywhere," the complaint said. She realized then that her phone was missing from her purse. She told police Mahbub held a large knife in the air and smiled.

At Mahbub's home, police recovered several pairs of women's underwear in the back of his closet. They also found digital images of the defendant posing with women in sexual acts and graphic images of nude women, some of whom appear to be impaired, the complaints said. One appears passed out in the middle of a sex act.

Mahbub's attorney, Earl Gray, appeared in court with him Friday and entered a plea of not guilty. Mahbub is free on noncash bond. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for June 11 before Judge Teresa Warner. "We look forward to going to trial and having a jury decide the case," Gray said. He declined further comment.

The criminal complaints detail allegations involving four victims. Mahbub is charged with five counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Police got wind of Mahbub's apparent habits Sept. 7 when a 25-year-old woman identified by the initials J.J.H. came to St. Paul police headquarters. She told a Ramsey County sheriff's deputy that she and a woman friend were in Minneapolis three nights earlier. They went to a couple of bars and ended up at Sneaky Pete's. At one point, she and her friend got separated; she felt drunk and did not want to stay there alone, so she called a co-worker for a ride. She waited outside for the co-worker to arrive.

The next thing she remembered, she told the deputy, was waking up in the car of a man she didn't know and having no idea where they were headed. When she tried to use her cell phone, it didn't work.

They went to the man's house, where he would not let her use the phone, she said. She started making a lot of noise, hoping someone would hear, and tried to set things on fire. The man told her he'd take her home but they ended up in a park. The woman ran from the car screaming but eventually came back. They returned to the man's house and she went upstairs. The woman remembered waking up in the bed naked, with the man pushing her down. He raped her, she said. When she awoke again a couple of hours later, she demanded he call a cab for her. Before she left, she grabbed a piece of his mail, which she gave to investigators. In her haste, she left her underwear behind. She later discovered her phone battery had been removed.

The deputy investigating the case obtained taxi records for Mahbub's address. That led to the three other alleged victims.

One of them was a 25-year-old woman with the initials A.H., who told a deputy she was in downtown Minneapolis on Jan. 6, 2008, and went to Sneaky Pete's with friends on a party bus. She became separated from them and was approached by the defendant, she said. He told her the "after party" was at his house; he drove her there, but no one else had shown up. She passed out on the bed, awakening to him rubbing her genital area. She started to yell, but he told her she was not going anywhere. She eventually got out of the house and he called her a cab.

The third woman, identified as C.F., 22, was at Brothers Bar in Minneapolis on July 3, 2009. Like the others, she became separated from her friends and went to look for an ATM so she could get cash for a cab. Mahbub offered to help her find an ATMand then persuaded her to let him drive her home to St. Paul. She started crying when she realized they were headed to Shoreview, not St. Paul, and he refused to respond to her demands to let her out of the car, she said. When she tried to use her phone, Mahbub took it away from her. When he gave it back a short time later, it didn't work. The battery was missing, she said. After passing out on the bed, she later found a man lying next to her, trying to take her clothes off. He penetrated her with his hands, she told police.

Another woman, 26-year-old T.O., told police she also had been at Sneaky Pete's in Minneapolis with friends. She blacked out at the bar and woke up on a man's couch with her jeans unzipped and pulled down. The man had his hand inside her pants and in her genital area. After she began tearing his house apart in search of her cell phone, the man gave it back to her from a drawer in his kitchen.

A fifth woman, who had taken a cab from Mahbub's house in December 2007, described similar circumstances but could not remember if she had been sexually assaulted. Mahbub was not charged in that incident.

Investigators also talked to a neighbor of Mahbub's who said he had gone with the defendant to some bars in Minneapolis. "The defendant would brag to him about picking up drunk girls and bringing them home to have sex with him," the complaint said. He'd have only one drink himself, he told the neighbor, and would park his car in a friend's space near the bars. The neighbor said he stopped going out with Mahbub after seeing him pick up a woman he described as "extremely drunk," and looked out his window late one night to see Mahbub with a woman he had to "practically carry" into his house.

Emily Gurnon can be reached at 651-228-5522.

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