JOHNSTON, Iowa — A prayer leader at the Islamic and Culture Center Bosniak has been charged with sex abuse and sexual exploitation by clergy.

Johnston Police Detective Tyler Tompkins said Wednesday that Nermin Spahic, 40, has been imam at the center. An imam is a prayer leader.

Tompkins said a friend of an 18-year-old woman called 911 to say the woman and her 42-year-old mother were being sexually abused during a ritual at their house. The mother later told officers she'd sought Spahic's help for her daughter's personal issues. The women said Spahic sexually abused them during the ceremony.

Spahic later denied sexually abusing them.

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