Sports complex co-owner faces sex charges

February 7, 2008 10:27:22 PM PST
The co-owner of a sports center for children is facing sex charges.

Richard Ahmed, 47, a partner in Dream Sports Center in Apex, is accused of using the Internet to solicit a child for sex. Authorities say he send obscene material to a child and took indecent liberties with a child.

Thursday afternoon some parents and children at the Dream Sport Center had not heard about the Ahmed's arrest.

Others had already seen his mug shot on TV and the Internet.

"[It] has us all concerned," neighboring business owner John Graham said.

Graham owns a business across the street from Dream Sports and says his grandson attended a summer camp there.

"I went in a number of times to pick him up and drop him of," Graham said. "Everything seemed to be alright."

Graham said he has met Ahmed but only in passing.

According to court records, Ahmed chatted online with a 14-year-old girl who is a student at Leesville Middle School.

The two had 18 conversations involving sex over the past three weeks and arranged to meet at the food court in Crabtree Valley Mall.

"We have no comment and we'd appreciate it if you'd leave our property," an unidentified male said to Eyewitness News.

The person who answered the door at Ahmed's Cary home also asked Eyewitness News to leave.

Court records also indicate Ahmed used a computer at his home and at the sports center to solicit the girl. When she agree to meet him at Raleigh's Laurel Hills Park, he was confronted by police officers.

It's not the first time Ahmed has been on the news.

In October 2006, the EQ chemical fire raged just down the street from his business. What he had to say about the fire resounds the day.

"Our business is taking a beating," Ahmed said. "I have my past, my future, my kids' education, everything that I have wrapped up in this building."

The news about Ahmed's alleged encounter with a child may do even worse damage to a sports center that caters to children. That's according to Ahmed's business neighbor, John Graham.

"I hate to even to even think about how devastating it could be," Graham said. "Awful. It's going to be a hard, hard row to hoe for his partner."

Ahmed explained what happened to police investigators. According to a search warrant, he told police he was not going to do anything to the girl.

"I wasn't going to do anything with her," Ahmed told investigators. "I was only going to lecture her. I have met girls before but it's just to lecture then about the dangers of meeting people from the Internet. I work with kids."

Some parents told Eyewitness News they will wait to see what happens in court before passing judgment on Ahmed.


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