The Columbus Dispatch

Man appealing sex with minor sentence

- Marc Kovac

A Powell man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for having sex with a 14-year-old girl in Kentucky.

Syed Sheraz Ahmed, 40, received the sentence Tuesday from Chief Judge Danny C. Reeves of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Kentucky after pleading guilty in July to counts of traveling for sex with a minor and receiving a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. He'll also have to registered as a sex offender.

Ahmed filed an appeal Wednesday with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, court records show.

According to court documents, Ahmed befriended a Kentucky girl through an online social media site in fall 2015 and sent her a sex toy the following January.

The two engaged in sexually charged online communicat­ions until September 2016, when Ahmed traveled from Ohio to Kentucky. He picked up the 14-year-old at her middle school and took her to a hotel for sex, according to court documents.

Ahmed was later stopped by police and found in possession of sexually explicit images of the girl.

In a letter to Judge Reeves, Ahmed voiced remorse and a commitment to change, seeking a shorter sentence.

“I know my behavior was criminal and wrong and deserving of prison time… What I do not know and cannot figure out is how long I must be punished for the same past I cannot change,” Ahmed wrote. “Am I not worthy of a second chance? Is there no redemptive quality to me?… Am I wasting time reforming and planning for a future when the sentence I face shows no future for me? I am 40 years old and even decades will be like a life sentence to me, even if it does not say life.” @Ohiocapita­lblog

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