Charges: Maplewood man sexually assaulted child during religious classes at his store

A Maplewood man is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct after he allegedly sexually assaulted a child multiple times while the child attended religious classes in his store.

Charges against Akeem Adebayo Lamina, 51, were filed Monday in Ramsey County.

According to a criminal complaint, officers were notified of a sexual assault disclosure made by a kindergarten student to a school employee on Nov. 7. The disclosure came a day earlier following a discussion of class rules, one of which was that nobody should be touching children in their private parts. At that time, the employee noticed one of the children was crying as they discussed the rule, and she asked the child if she wanted to talk privately.

The child then told the employee that on non-school days she goes to a "shop school" where a man takes her into his office, shuts the door and shows her "disgusting videos." The complaint states the child also said the man, whom she called "Daddy Alim," puts his genitals in her underwear and makes her touch him among other acts. She said it had happened about five times but said she was afraid to tell anyone because the man told her not to and because she was afraid she would get in trouble.

The school principal then requested the child's parents come to the school to meet, and they identified Lamina as the man. The complaint states Lamina owns a grocery store and provides space there for a children's religious class that the child attends on Saturdays.

According to the complaint, the child's mother said on one Saturday about six months earlier, she went to pick her child up and noticed all of the children except her child were outside playing. She was then told her child was with Lamina in his office, and when she saw the door closed and knocked, Lamina opened the door and flipped his phone over so the screen was down. Her child was standing by his chair. They got her things and left.

The child stopped going to the class on Nov. 2, the complaint states.

Lamina's first court appearance is set for Tuesday.

If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison, a $40,000 fine or both.