TAMPA, Fla. — A former Tampa mosque youth volunteer accused of drugging and molesting boys took a plea deal on Wednesday.
Ehab Ghoneim agreed to serve eight years in prison followed by two years of probation.
He entered guilty pleas on all charges in Pinellas County: three counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and one lewd and lascivious molestation charge.
Ghoneim must also register as a sex offender.
He was booked into Pinellas County Jail on Wednesday morning.
“He got off easy. Part of me is upset that he got off easy and part of me is also happy that he is serving some type of time,” said Ghoneim’s nephew Nour Elsayed.
Elsayed told 10 Investigates that 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.
Ghoneim’s trial had been scheduled to begin on Feb. 13.
10 Investigates reached out to the office of Ghoneim’s attorney Jeremy Clark. We were told they had no comment.
In early 2021, 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.
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.
In 2017 and again in 2020, a former employee came to Islamic Society of the Tampa Bay Area leadership with reports accusing Ghoneim of inappropriate contact with kids in New Jersey.
The mosque’s administrator told police he wasn’t able to prove the accusations were true, so he allowed Ghoneim to keep volunteering with the youth program.