Schumer and Gillibrand Helped Athlete Being Held on Sex Charges Obtain Visa

Chuck Schumer
Chuck Schumer / AP
March 3, 2017

Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) helped a snowshoe racer from India gain entry into the U.S. to compete, but he is now being held in a New York jail on sex charges as of Friday.

Tanveer Hussain was charged with the felony of first-degree sexual abuse and the misdemeanor of endangering the welfare of a child after Saranac Lake Village police received a report of the alleged incident, according to Fox News.

Hussain was allegedly "engaging in a passionate kiss" with a 12-year-old girl. Other accusations claim he was touching her in an intimate area over her clothes.

He was arrested on Wednesday for the incident which allegedly occurred on Monday.

Brian Barrett, Hussain's lawyer, pleaded not guilty for his client, claiming the 12-year-old girl "had been following him around all week."

Hussain's application for a visa was denied last month by U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. Hussain was attempting to obtain a visa in order to compete in the World Snowshoe Championship in upstate New York.

Both Schumer and Gillibrand's offices were contacted by local officials on Hussain's behalf in an attempt to obtain a visa. In return, both of the Democratic Senators' offices reached out to the New Delhi embassy. Hussain was then allowed to reapply for the visa which he was eventually granted.

"Obviously, this is a troubling matter for him — these are troubling accusations," Barrett told Fox News.

"He is in good spirits and he looks forward to fighting these charges," Barrett said of his client.

Schumer's office made a statement to Fox News regarding helping Hussain with his visa.

"As we often do when local communities ask for help, at the request of Saranac Lake we helped to navigate the visa process so these athletes could compete at a local competition," the statement says. "The charges against one member of the group, who is accused of a serious crime and abusing our visa program, are extremely troubling. If he’s found guilty, he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law."

Gillibrand's office also responded to Fox with a similar response.

Hussain is being held on a $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond at St. Armand Town Court as of Friday.