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UNR Student Sentenced to 63 Months in Federal Prison for Coercing and Enticing a Minor to Engage in Sex

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2005

Reno, Nev. - A UNR student who was convicted by a jury in February of using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sex (in reality, an undercover detective posing as a minor) was sentenced yesterday to 63 months in prison and lifetime supervised release, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

The sentence against OMAR AHMAD AYOUB, age 23, of Reno, present in the United States on a student visa, was handed down yesterday by U.S. District Judge Howard D. McKibben. AYOUB was convicted of using interstate commerce; i.e. a computer and internet communications to attempt to coerce and entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, and was facing a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years. The mandatory minimum penalty went into effect in 2003 following the enactment of the Protect Act, which made significant changes to child pornography laws and to the existing sentencing scheme for child sex offenders.

The investigation began when an undercover detective with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, playing the role of a 14-year-old female, received a sexually explicit instant message from AYOUB. Between October 14, 2003, and November 4, 2003, AYOUB conversed on the Internet with the girl via Yahoo Instant Messenger. During the Instant Message conversations, AYOUB indicated he wanted to engage in various sexual acts with her, and during one conversation, he transmitted a sexually suggestive photograph of himself.

AYOUB made arrangements to meet the girl on November 4, 2003, for the purpose of having sexual relations. When AYOUB showed up for the meeting, he was arrested by law enforcement representatives of the Washoe County Sheriff's Office and FBI. A search of AYOUB'S computer uncovered the files containing inappropriate sexual discussions and the photograph he had transmitted to the undercover officer.

"Prosecuting crimes against the exploitable is a top prosecution priority for the United States Attorney's Office in the District of Nevada," said United States Attorney Daniel Bogden. Since 2002, the U.S. Attorney's Office has experienced a significant increase in referrals of cases involving child pornography. Between January 1, 2002, and April 2005, ninety-nine (99) defendants were charged in the District of Nevada with crimes ranging from receipt and possession of child pornography, interstate travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile, and using a computer to entice a juvenile to have sex. Many of those charged have been convicted and sentenced to significant periods of imprisonment.

AYOUB'S motion for release pending appeal was denied by the Court. He must surrender to the designated federal prison by 12:00 p.m. on September 1, 2005. The case was investigated by Detectives with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office and Special Agents of the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul Pugliese.

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