A police investigation report does not support a runaway teen convert's claim that her life would be in danger if she was returned to her Ohio home, said her mother's attorney in a court hearing Thursday.
Though the judge had sealed the report for 10 days and issued a gag order banning attorneys from talking about the case to the media, the attorney of Aysha Bary revealed that the report was “favorable” to the parents of 17-year-old Rifqa Bary who claims her father threatened to kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity.
“There is no evidence out there whatsoever to corroborate these accusations,” said Roger Weeden, who did not provide any more details.
Rifqa Bary, the teen at the center of the contentious custody battle, ran away from her Ohio home in July because she feared she would be killed by her Muslim father for converting to Christianity.
She boarded a bus and arrived in Orlando, Fla., where she was taken in by the Rev. Blake Lorenz of Global Revolution Church. Rifqa had met him through a Facebook prayer group.
After her parents discovered her whereabouts, a custody battle ensued between the Bary family, who wants her to return to their Ohio home, and Rifqa, who wants to stay in Florida until she turns 18 next year.
On Monday, Rifqa’s attorney filed court documents accusing the Ohio mosque her parents attend, Noor Islamic Cultural Center in the suburb of Columbus, Ohio, of having ties to militant extremists. Rifqa’s attorney maintains that if the girl is returned to Ohio, even if her family doesn’t harm her, she would be in danger from members of the mosque.
Rifqa’s father, Mohamed Bary, has vehemently denied ever threatening to kill his daughter for converting to Christianity. Bary accuses the Lorenzes of “brainwashing” his daughter into believing she was in danger of an honor killing.
Also the director of the Noor Center refuted all charges linking him or the mosque to terrorism. He says the Center has invited a variety of speakers including Christians, Jews and atheists.
The Florida judge hearing the case has set a pre-trial hearing date for Sept. 29 and ordered the parties into mediation within the next 30 days.