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Child Exploitation
01/22/2015

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Orange County CEO charged with sexually assaulting minors and possession of child pornography

Authorities seeking public’s help to identify additional victims
Orange County CEO charged with sexually assaulting minors and possession of child pornography

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Law enforcement is seeking the public’s help identifying potential additional victims of the CEO of an Irvine-based high tech firm who is accused of sexually assaulting minors he met on social media and possessing child pornography.

Qayed Murtaza Shareef, 39, Aliso Viejo, was formally charged Friday with 30 felony counts of lewd acts with a child under 14; one felony count of using a minor for sex acts; one felony count of distributing pornography to a minor; one felony count of possession or control of child pornography, with a sentencing enhancement for substantial sexual conduct with a child under 14 years old and committing lewd acts upon multiple victims. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 752 years to life in state prison.

Shareef was arrested at his residence Jan. 21 by members of the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force (OCCETF), including investigators from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), and the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD). The defendant, who was arraigned Friday afternoon, is being held on $2 million bond.

According to the charging document, on multiple occasions between Dec. 25, 2013, and Dec. 29, 2013, Shareef contacted 10-year-old John Doe #1 and 9-year-old John Doe #2 using an online application called Tango.The defendant is accused of connecting to the program using the alias Jeremy Stevens.

Investigators allege the defendant then engaged in sexually explicit conversations with the victims through the application. Specifically, Shareef is accused of directing John Doe #1 and John Doe #2, who live in Virginia, to commit sex acts with each other and to record photos and videos of those acts using their tablet device. Shareef is accused of directing the victims to send the photos and videos of themselves to the defendant’s Tango account. Between Dec. 25, 2013, and Dec. 29, 2013, the defendant allegedly recorded sex acts performed on himself and sent the images to the victims along with adult pornography.

The defendant did not have physical contact with the victims, but California law states that lewd and lascivious acts upon a child are committed when a defendant willfully causes a child to touch the child’s own body or the body of another with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, and sexual desires of the defendant or the child.

On Dec. 30, 2013, the mother of one of the victims found the videos on the child’s tablet device and reported the crime to her local law enforcement agency in Virginia.

Agencies represented on the OCCETF include HSI; OCSD; the FBI; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Huntington Beach Police Department; and NBPD. OCCETF investigates Internet-related crimes against children and crimes involving the possession, production and distribution of child pornography.

The investigation in this case is ongoing. Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact OCSD Sgt. Wade Walsviek at (714) 647-7418 or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Kelly Core at (714) 347-8794.

Deputy District Attorney Vanessa Woods of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/26/2015