Abdi Hersy, Calgary imam wanted on U.S. sex assault charges, to face refugee board

Abdi Hersy, a high profile imam wanted in the U.S. on outstanding criminal charges, will be fighting to keep his refugee status at a hearing in Calgary Tuesday.

Prominent voice in Calgary's Somali community accused of sexually assaulting 2 women

Calgary Imam Abdi Hersy, seen on the left in a Washington County Sheriff's Office booking photo and on the right in a still image from a CBC interview, is wanted in the United States on outstanding criminal charges connected to two alleged sexual assaults. (Woodbury Police Department/CBC)

Abdi Hersy, a high profile imam wanted in the U.S. on outstanding criminal charges, will be fighting to keep his refugee status at a hearing in Calgary Tuesday.

Hersy was granted protection in Canada as refugee from Somalia in 2008, but the refugee board stripped him of that status five years later.

It concluded he had misrepresented himself and withheld information about the charges he faced in the U.S. 

Hersy was accused of sexually assaulting two women while working as a respiratory therapist in Minnesota.

He has denied the allegations and says he has not been able to clear his name because of immigration issues.

In September 2010, he crossed the border back into Minnesota and surrendered to the sheriff's office, but when he was released on bail, U.S. immigration officials deported him back to Canada.

Hersy successfully challenged the refugee board's decision in Federal Court and kept his status.

The Canadian Border Services Agency is now applying to terminate it for a second time.