Feds: Ann Arbor man charged with child porn wanted to ‘live naked’ with woman’s children

One of the many accusations a 45-year-old Ann Arbor man faces is that he tried coaxing a woman to sleep naked with and molest her own children before he moved in with them and they could “live together naked,” according to court records.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Patti ruled Shah would stay in custody pending his trial on two counts of attempted production of child pornography, receipt and distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

The charges are related to a variety of alleged inappropriate actions involving Shah as he repeatedly expressed his wishes to use children for sex.

Shah is accused of chatting online with a single mother over a span of several months and talking her into sleeping naked with her children. The woman eventually went to police, who say they found evidence Shah had also been messaging with two 14-year-old girls who sent him naked images, according to police.

“These are all expressions of a person who is out of control,” Patti said when ruling Shah should remain in custody. “And if left to his own cognizance, (he) would … use any means … to bring danger to the community.”

Naked family

Shah, who is married and has children, began a correspondence on Facebook with a single mother living in Washington state with her three children aged 5, 7 and 10 back in March, police said.

Federal prosecutors said they have hundreds of pages of messages exchanged between the two and allege Shah was trying to groom the woman.

“He spoke with her at length about participating in a relationship with her. It was a courting that they engaged in,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward said at the detention hearing. “Once they were in some sort of online relationship, he talked to her about her children. He told her that he wanted them to live in a natural way, to resist the taboos of society. And that he wanted the entire family to live together naked.”

Shah allegedly told the woman to start living naked around her children, to shower and sleep with them, according to prosecutors.

“Then he requested that she engage in sexual acts with her children,” Woodward said.

At the end of July, the woman told Shah she had slept naked with her children, according to prosecutors. Shah was dismayed when he asked if she took pictures and she said no, however.

In the chats, Shah kept hinting about sexual activity with children, according to prosecutors.

On Aug. 1, the woman told Shah that her daughter “had just turned 10,” according to the federal complaint, to which Shah responded: “that’s the perfect age. Perfect age to channelize them to erotic and sexual pleasures. Right before puberty sets in. It will be very natural. And puberty won’t be so confusing.”

Ten minutes later, Shah wrote, “Yes send me pics. Of all kids so I can see them. And night you send naked ones. I am so glad and happy.”

Cyber tip

But the man eventually took it too far in the chats with the woman when he spoke about an actual encounter he said he had with a 13-year-old girl. On Aug. 7, the woman reported Shah to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The next day, police executed a search warrant at Shah’s residence in the 3000 block of Cloverly Court in Ann Arbor and seized several electronic devices, according to the federal complaint.

Shah’s iPhone had 205 images and 42 videos of child pornography. Shah admitted to being in a Facebook group devoted to trading images of child pornography and to chatting with people for a similar purpose on the Kik messenger, including two 14-year-old girls.

Shah eventually got access to the Facebook group’s Dropbox account, which had an additional 29 pictures of child pornography and 132 video thumbnails, according to the federal complaint.

Most of the images depicted children between the ages of 8 and 12, but there were also depictions of infants and toddlers engaged in sex acts, the complaint says.

Prosecutors allege Shah started messaging two Kik users purporting to be 14-year-old girls, one who sent him a naked video of herself when Shah asked. The other sent a naked picture, prosecutors contend.

These are what the two counts of attempting to produce child pornography are related to.

Authorities continue to investigate and he could be facing other charges.

Shah initially faced state charges before a complaint being filed in the U.S. District Court Sept. 2.

Detention hearings

At two lengthy detention hearings, Shah’s attorney, Ypsilanti-based Michael Vincent, tried various arguments to keep his client free pending trial.

“He asserts his innocence,” Vincent said. “He denies that he went out and … tried to do anything like this.”

Vincent initially asked Shah be released to stay at a motel or hotel on a GPS tether, then proposed Shah could stay with a friend who would monitor him. Vincent said Shah, a native of India, has relinquished his passport and is therefore not a flight risk.

“He’s petrified,” Vincent said. “He’s not going to do anything wrong.”

Vincent stressed there had never been any actual physical contact between Shah and anyone, including Shah’s claim about the 13-year-old girl that prompted the single mother to contact authorities.

“He’s not going out raping kids,” he said. “The accusations are the use of a computer. (There’s) zero allegations that he did anything physical. I think you can fantasize on the computer all you want. I think he never believed these people were 14 years old.”

Patti agreed to adjourn the first detention hearing after Vincent said he could bring in one of Shah’s friends Shah could possibly live with.

Instead, at the second hearing, Shah’s wife testified that she would move out of their house with their daughter during the proceedings.

The judge was having none of it, however.

When speaking of the single mother, Patti said he was detaining Shah because of his willingness to sexually assault her children.

“Not only was there manipulative behavior to induce her to have sexual contact with her children, but there was further indication in those communications of (his) intent to move in with them, live with them and assault them,” he said. “Even if it hasn’t happened yet, the expression of the willingness to do so indicates that lines are now too blurry for Mr. Shah to recognize what is permissible, legal, acceptable behavior and to recognize the vulnerability of children and instead to see them as playthings for sexual desire.”

Shah’s next court date set for Sept. 24.

Source: http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/09/ann_arbor_man_accused_of_wanti.html