Imam Abdul Matin accused of sexually assaulting children
An Imam sexually assaulted two children while he was employed to teach them about the Quran, Northampton Crown Court has heard.
Abdul Matin, 41, is accused of sexually touching the youngsters, kissing them, and sitting one of them on his lap during lessons.
Both children also said he hit them with a hairbrush as punishment.
Mr Matin, from Albert Road in Wellingborough, said the children had invented the claims.
Police were first alerted to the case after one of the youngsters told a school teacher about the classes.
'Touched and kissed'
The parents of both children were approached by police and both made claims against Mr Matin.
He is accused of seven counts of sexual assault over 12 months from January 2007.
Speaking in Bengali, he told the court that the children had threatened to make false allegations against him in the past to stop him from telling their father that they were not focussing in the class.
He said: "They said we know how to read it (the Quran), that we don't want to read it now. I was very angry, I was going to tell their father.
"Then one said if you tell my father then I will say that you did this and that, that you touched us, we will go to the police, to the school.
"Then they said sorry, and I thought that was the end of it."
When asked how he felt about the claims he said: "I was upset that I teach children who could say something like that."
The children's parents said they were shocked by the allegations.
While giving evidence at the court, the mother of one of the victims said that her child had felt too embarrassed to talk to her about what happened.
She said: "I feel ill. I feel guilty.
"It is not in our religion, we don't discuss this openly."
The case is due to resume on Tuesday.