Imran Ahmad Khan, 47, the Conservative MP for Wakefield, West Yorkshire, said he denies “in the strongest terms” an allegation that he groped the teenager in Staffordshire.
Ahmad Khan, who was elected at the 2019 general election, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday by video-link from his lawyers’ office.
He can be named on Friday after reporting restrictions were lifted.
Leeds thunderstorms warning as Met Office shares latest weather forecast
Bloody machete attack on busy Leeds street left man scarred for life
Paedophile arrested at Leeds Bradford Airport after travelling from Ireland to meet ‘13-year-old girl’
York Road incident: Police appeal after pedestrian killed in crash outside Leeds Dogs Trust
Leeds Bradford Airport: Full statement on August security staff strike
Ahmad Khan, from Wakefield, faces a single count of sexual assault against the teenager, who cannot be identified because he is an alleged victim of a sexual offence, in 2008.
The charge, which was read out in court, states: “In the county of Staffordshire you intentionally touched a boy aged 15 and that touching was sexual when he did not consent and you did not reasonably believe that he was consenting, contrary to Section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.”
Asked to indicate a plea to the charge, Ahmad Khan, who was represented by Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC, said: “Not guilty.”
In a statement released on Friday, Ahmad Khan said: “It is true that an accusation has been made against me.
“May I make it clear from the outset that the allegation, which is from over 13 years ago, is denied in the strongest terms.
“This matter is deeply distressing to me and I, of course, take it extremely seriously.
“To be accused of doing something I did not do is shocking, destabilising and traumatic. I am innocent.
“Those, like me, who are falsely accused of such actions are in the difficult position of having to endure damaging and painful speculation until the case is concluded.
“I ask for privacy as I work to clear my name.”
Chief magistrate Paul Goldspring said the case was not suitable for trial in the magistrates’ court and sent the case to the Old Bailey.
He told Ahmad Khan: “You must appear at the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey, on July 15 at 9.30am. Between now and then you are granted unconditional bail.
“If you do not attend on that occasion, unless there is a very good reason, you potentially commit an offence.
“Do you understand that?”
Ahmad Khan replied: “I do.”
According to his website, the MP was born in Wakefield, where he attended the independent Silcoates School before going to university at the Pushkin Institute in Russia and graduating from King’s College in London with a bachelor’s degree in war studies.
Before entering Parliament, he worked for the United Nations as a special assistant for political affairs in Mogadishu.
The Crown Prosecution Service said it made the decision to charge after reviewing a file of evidence from Staffordshire Police.
Stressing the need for a fair trial, Rosemary Ainslie of the CPS said: “It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan said: “It is true that an accusation has been made against me.
“May I make it clear from the outset that the allegation, which is from over 13 years ago, is denied in the strongest terms.”
He went on to say the matter was “deeply distressing” and one that he took “extremely seriously”, adding: “I ask for privacy as I work to clear my name.”