Local News

Warrant: Suspect Wanted to Lecture Teen on Dangers of the Internet

Posted February 7, 2008 10:36 a.m. EST
Updated February 7, 2008 9:10 p.m. EST

— An owner of an Apex sports facility that caters to children was arrested Wednesday and charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor involving sex offenses with children.

When he was arrested, he told police he was only meeting who he thought was a 14-year-old girl to lecture her about the dangers of meeting people on the Internet, according to a search warrant returned Thursday afternoon.

Raleigh police arrested Richard James Ahmed, 47, of 210 Michelangelo Way in Cary, on one count of solicitation of a child by computer for sex, one count of indecent liberties with children and one count of attempted dissemination of obscenity to minors.

Investigators said in an affidavit for the search warrant that Ahmed met someone he thought was a 14-year-old middle-school student in a Yahoo! chat room.

From Jan. 14 to Feb. 6, the two chatted 18 times online and talked seven times on the phone, most of those with him allegedly steering the conversations toward wanting to meet her, talking about her sexual history and what she wanted to learn, that affidavit said.

It went on to say the two eventually made plans to meet at a Raleigh park on Feb. 6, according to the warrant, and police arrested him while he was attempting to meet a decoy.

"Let me tell you what I was doing," Ahmed told police, the warrant said. "I wasn't going to do anything with her; I was only going to lecture her. I have met girls before, but it's just to lecture them about the dangers of meeting people from the Internet. I work with kids."

Ahmed was released from the Wake County Jail under a $103,000 secured bond Thursday afternoon. He had no comment as he left the jail.

According to its Web site, Ahmed is the co-owner of Dream Sports Center, which offers facilities for basketball, roller hockey, soccer, lacrosse, baseball and other sports and hosts camps and clinics for children ages 5 and up.

The Web site says Ahmed has 15 years' experience coaching soccer and baseball for children ranging from preschool to high school.

Bob Boucher, who also owns Dreams Sports, said he is upset by the charges against Ahmed and did not want to comment on the matter.

He did say, however, he intends to keep the center open and will address any concerns parents have.

"It's just something hard to accept. I just don’t understand it," said John Graham, whose grandson attended a camp last summer at Dream Sports.