A Bismarck man is charged with felony child abuse for allegedly striking his stepdaughter with a broomstick because she refused to wear clothing that reflected his religious beliefs, police say.
Youness Moussaid, 33, made his initial court appearance Friday. He is accused of striking the teenage girl, causing several bruises, and of grabbing the girl’s hair and striking her head against a wall, causing a quarter-size bump, an affidavit said.
School officials notified the Bismarck Police Department when they noticed visible signs of abuse, Lt. Luke Gardiner said.
Moussaid wants the girl to “follow his Muslim beliefs, which includes wearing dresses and hijab,” but the girl changes clothes when she gets to school, the affidavit said.
The girl had a large bruise across the top of her right hand and bruises across the front of both thighs that were “consistent with the shape and size” of the broomstick Moussaid allegedly admitted to using, according to the affidavit.
Moussaid, who faces the possibility of five years in prison if convicted, is prohibited from having contact with the girl, court documents show. They do not list an attorney for him.
Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com