2nd Suspect in 2015 Brutal Rape, Robbery, Kidnapping Sentenced after Being on the Run

Suspect who was on the run for three years after brutal rape was given a plea bargain with several charges dismissed. And, of course, will only serve 2/3s of his sentence incarcerated.

Ismail Adam Abdo, Source_ MN Dept of Corrections

A man who evaded capture for three years following the brutal rape and robbery of a Minneapolis woman in 2015 will spend the next two decades in prison.

Ismail Adam Abdo was one of two suspects charged in what the Hennepin County Attorney later called “a heinous crime that terrorized a young woman” that involved her kidnapping, robbery and rape on Aug. 4, 2015. 

According to a court document and other reports, the victim and a male friend who lived in the same apartment building in south Minneapolis were sitting on the staircase behind the apartment building on the 1800 block of 2nd Avenue South when they were approached by a man who pointed a gun at them. The man was later identified as co-defendant Mohamed Ali Elmi.

Mohamed Ali Elmi, Source: MN Dept of Corrections

Elmi proceeded to rob the two victims and threatened to kill the female after she started crying as he continued to wave the gun in their faces.

A car pulled up in the alley and Elmi and the driver, indicated in the court document as Abdo, screamed at each other in a foreign language, the court document said. Elmi then forced the female victim into the vehicle at gunpoint and told her male friend that they’d be back in five minutes and that he would kill her if he called police.

Elmi and Abdo took the victim to an ATM and Abdo told her that he “wanted to kill someone tonight.” When they couldn’t get the $1,500 they wanted out of the ATM, they eventually took her to Riverside Park in Minneapolis and proceeded to rape her and force her to perform oral sex. The men left the victim in the park and she was able to walk and get help and a gas station.

Investigators identified Elmi through a palm print left on a bench at the crime scene and they were able to identify Abdo through other means not specified in the court document. Elmi was arrested within days, but authorities believed that Abdo had fled to East Africa.

PRIORS

Abdo and Elmi were implicated together as suspects in a Nov. 2011 Mankato invasion-style dorm robbery along with several others. In that case, Elmi and another person used a fake gun to rob students of laptop computers. Seven suspects including Abdo and Elmi were arrested following the incident. Elmi was charged in the incident but Abdo was not. 

At the time of the Mankato incident, Abdo also had a pending first-degree attempt-to-commit aggravated robbery case in Ramsey County for his role in a series of robberies that occurred at a park-and-ride station and a fast-food restaurant in Aug. 2011. Abdo was eventually convicted in that case in 2012, however, under the terms of a plea agreement, Abdo’s 36-month felony sentence was stayed by Judge Gary W. Bastian. Abdo was alternatively placed on probation after a short stint in local jail. Abdo also has convictions for fifth-degree assault, theft and driving after suspension.

RAPE CONVICTIONS

Elmi was convicted on six felony counts of robbery, kidnapping and sexual assault by a jury in 2016 and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Upon a subsequent appeal by Elmi, two of the sexual assault convictions were vacated on a technicality, but the life sentence was upheld by the court. Court records show that Elmi has filed another appeal with the Minnesota Appellate Court for post-conviction relief and that a briefing is scheduled for Feb. 5. Appeals on post-conviction relief generally involve a last-ditch effort to challenge the legality of a conviction.

Court records show that Abdo, after being wanted on warrant for about three years on the kidnapping and rape, was taken into custody in Nov. 2018. Abdo was charged with felony counts including aid/abet first-degree aggravated robbery, aid/abet kidnapping, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Abdo, 27, pleaded guilty in Nov. 2019 and was sentenced on Jan. 21. Under the terms of a plea agreement, Abdo pleaded guilty to just one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and the other four counts were dismissed at sentencing by Judge Jay Quam. Abdo was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but under Minnesota statute, offenders are only required to serve two-thirds of their sentence incarcerated and the remainder on supervised release. With credit for 72 days already served in jail, Abdo is scheduled for release from prison in Nov. 2039, after serving about 20 years of the 30-year sentence.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.