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Former Tampa mosque youth program volunteer back in court Monday

He has been accused of drugging and sexually abusing boys.

TAMPA, Fla. — A former Tampa mosque youth program volunteer who’s accused of drugging and sexually abusing boys was back in court on Monday.

Ehab Ghoneim broke his silence, speaking to 10 Investigates’ Jenna Bourne for the first time. 

Ghoneim told her he’s innocent, and his lawyer has instructed him not to say anything else. 

The former Islamic Society of the Tampa Bay Area youth program volunteer was arrested in August 2021 on three charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and one molestation charge. 

Earlier that year, boys told police Ghoneim sexually abused them during sleepovers at his house in Pinellas Park and on overnight trips out of town for events like Islamic youth conventions.

Police records show those boys reported Ghoneim would give them pills, get into bed with them, and touch them inappropriately while he thought they were asleep. 

During Monday’s hearing, Ghoneim’s attorney Jeremy Clark told the judge he’s following up on some evidence and is on-track for trial next month. 

The judge added another pretrial hearing for Aug. 8. 

Ghoneim’s trial is scheduled to start on Aug. 23.  

In May, 10 Investigates uncovered that, years before Ghoneim’s arrest, leadership at ISTABA was told about accusations in another state but let him keep having access to kids anyway. 

Documents show that in 2017 and again in 2020, a former employee came to mosque leadership with reports accusing Ghoneim of inappropriate contact with kids in New Jersey. 

The mosque’s administrator told police that he couldn’t prove the accusations were true, so he allowed Ghoneim to keep volunteering with the youth program.

10 Investigates' Jenna Bourne spent months digging into this story for a May 2022 episode of our investigative series, "What's Brewing?" You can watch that report below or click here to read more.


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