A Columbia man was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday for first-degree rape in connection with a May 2015 sexual assault on MU’s campus.
In July, a jury found Mohamed Mostafa, 42, guilty of rape and not guilty of one count of attempted sodomy, recommending a 25-year sentence.
Boone County assistant prosecuting attorney Cecily Daller followed the jury’s sentencing recommendation, noting that the assault had a huge impact on the victim’s life.
But public defender Jeremy Pilkington argued at the hearing in the 13th Circuit Court that the jury should have considered Mostafa’s background as a refugee in determining his sentence. Mostafa is now a U.S. citizen.
With the help of a translator, Mostafa stated in the hearing that he did not commit rape.
DNA collected from Mostafa and the victim that was introduced as evidence during the trial matched.
Pilkington filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that Mostafa’s DNA was unlawfully attained.
The motion was denied by Boone County Circuit Judge Kevin Crane at Monday’s hearing.
The victim called 911 using a blue light emergency phone in the early hours of May 29, 2015, near University Hall, according to previous Missourian reporting.
The victim said she went to Roxy’s nightclub with a friend that night, and the next thing she could remember was that someone was on top of her attempting to sodomize her.
During the investigation, MU Police compared video footage of Mostafa outside of Roxy’s that night to body camera footage of Mostafa from a previous encounter.
MU Police arrested Mostafa in August 2015 in connection with the assault. He was charged with first-degree rape and robbery in 2016 when the case first went to trial, which ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked, according to previous Missourian reporting.
He was retried this summer.
Mostafa will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before being considered for parole.
Daller said the victim’s family was satisfied with the sentence.
Pilkington said he planned an immediate appeal.