le in Somali literature has been compared to Shakespeare's place in English, has been added to Hennepin County's "Ten Most Wanted" list for the rape of a 10-year-old girl a decade ago, authorities said.
Mahamud A. Isse, 72, of Minneapolis, is wanted on a felony bench warrant for criminal sexual conduct stemming from the alleged rape.
A phone number for Isse was not listed. Defense attorney Richard Cohen said he hasn't seen or heard from Isse in a few months.
"I have no idea where he is," Cohen said.
According to the criminal complaint, the alleged victim told police she came to the United States from Somalia in 1995 and lived with a woman who acted as her mother in Minneapolis. She said Isse, whom she then called "uncle," would bring her candy and treats when he visited her guardian.
The woman told police that when she was 10, Isse got into her bed and raped her, the complaint said. The woman, now in her 20s, moved to Washington state in 1997 and was back in Minneapolis for a visit in 2005 when she ran into Isse at the Somali Mall shopping center.
After Isse was charged, scores of Somalis showed up in support and rallied outside the county jail. Isse is considered by some to be a highly respected poet and author from the time when Somalia gained its independence in the 1960s until the country descended into civil war in 1991.
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