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Trial delayed a 3rd time for former mosque volunteer accused of molestation

Ehab Ghoneim was arrested more than a year ago, accused of drugging and molesting boys. His trial has now been delayed a third time.

TAMPA, Fla. — The trial of a former Tampa youth program volunteer accused of drugging and molesting boys has been delayed a third time.

Ehab Ghoneim’s trial was originally set for Aug. 23, rescheduled for Nov. 1, then rescheduled again for Jan. 3.

Now it’s been rescheduled to begin on Feb. 13.

“God, I just kind of want this to just be over with. I want it to just go away,” Ghoneim’s nephew Nour Elsayed said last month when the trial was delayed a second time.

Elsayed told 10 Investigates his uncle drugged him and touched him inappropriately when he was 14.

Elsayed's accusations are in police records, but Ghoneim has not been charged with molesting him.

“Yeah, I just really want this trial to just be over. And every time I hear it’s been postponed, it’s like you’re putting salt on a – it’s like you’re putting lemon juice on a cut,” said Elsayed in October.

For years, Ghoneim volunteered with kids and teens at the Islamic Society of the Tampa Bay Area.

Last 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.

Ghoneim was arrested more than a year ago, in August 2021, on three charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and one molestation charge.

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

“I just want to say that, at the end of the day, whatever happens in the dark does come to light,” said Elsayed in October. “You know what you did is wrong. You know what you did to these young men is just despicable and disgraceful. And for your soul, I just hope one day you’re able to come clean to yourself. You can lie to me. You can lie to all these boys – you can try to, at least. But you can’t lie to yourself.”

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