An Ohio man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after he admitted that he traveled to Central Kentucky to have sex with an underage girl and received child pornography from his victim.
Syed Sheraz Ahmed, 40, was given a 30-year sentence Monday by Chief U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves in Lexington. Ahmed admitted in a plea agreement that in 2015 he used Facebook to meet a 14-year-old girl who was a middle school student in Madison County. The two had conversations over Facebook and Snapchat before Ahmed sent the girl a sex toy in 2016, according to court records.
In September 2016, Ahmed and his victim made plans for Ahmed to pick her up from her middle school and take her to a local motel where they had sex, according to court records. Police stopped Ahmed after the two left the motel as he was driving the victim home.
Ahmed’s GPS device had directions to the victim’s school, the motel and the victim’s house, according to court records.
Ahmed told police he had just picked the victim up and was taking her home, according to court records.
“Search warrants of (Ahmed’s) cellular phones found that they had either been put in factory reset or the screen had been damaged, which prevented any information from being gleaned from them,” prosecutors wrote in court records.
But a forensic search of the victim’s phone revealed sexually explicit photos that she said had been sent to Ahmed at his request, according to court records.
The victim’s phone also revealed messages between the two on Facebook.
Ahmed pleaded guilty to federal charges of traveling for sex with a minor and receiving a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Ahmed had already previously been imprisoned over his actions. He was convicted on state charges of rape, sodomy and evidence tampering and sentenced in 2017 to seven years in state prison. He applied for shock probation but was denied.
Ahmed asked Reeves to consider that prior imprisonment when determining a federal prison sentence. He said he had strengthened his connections with his family, including his children, while in prison. He said they were relying on him to be released and begin providing for them again.
“I know my behavior was criminal and wrong and deserving of prison time,” Ahmed wrote in a letter to Reeves. “I did what I thought was the intent of such sentences and made sure I worked on fixing my shortcoming and errors in thought while doing time. However, I can not go back in time to undo my actions no matter how much I may want to.”
Ahmed wrote that he can “not figure out how long I must be punished for the same past I cannot change. Am I not worthy of a second chance? Is there no redemptive quality to me? Will I never have a chance of being a good father that keeps his word?”
Ahmed has to serve at least 85 percent — 25 years and six months — of his sentence under federal law. He’ll also remain on probation for the rest of his life after his release.