131217_mohammed_rahman

Mohammed Rahman

A 23-year-old man from Great Britain will appear in court Tuesday morning facing felony charges of second-degree statutory rape in St. Joseph.

Mohammed Ashref Rahman of London was charged with having sex with a victim who was under the age of 17 between Dec. 9 and Dec. 13, 2013.

The probable cause statement revealed that Mr. Rahman had been in contact with the victim online since 2011 and had traveled to St. Joseph to meet with her. Police Capt. Jonathan Beaver identified the victim as a 16-year-old girl.

Prosecutors say the alleged offenses happened at both the victim's home and the Super 8 motel on the South Belt Highway. St. Joseph police arrested the suspect at the hotel.

Assistant Buchanan County Prosecutor Kate Schaefer, who filed the charge, said she can't recall in her 10 years in the prosecutor's office having this type of case occur at an international level but said laws and processes will still apply.

While there have been cases where the initial contact is made online and then a meeting is set, this case is unique.

"This is different because it was quite some period of time that they had the online communication before they made contact," Ms. Schaefer said. She speculated it was because he lived so far away.

The probable cause statement filed in Buchanan County alleged that the suspect was aware of the girls' age, the St. Joseph News-Press reported.

"The defendant has been in electronic communication with the child victim since about 2011 and traveled to St. Joseph, Mo., from Bromley London, England, to meet the victim," stated court documents. "The defendant has a passport and a ticket (airplane) to fly back to England."

Mr. Rahman must surrender his passport as a condition of his $75,000 bond. He remains in custody. He will appear in Associate Circuit Judge Ronald Taylor's courtroom via video from the Law Enforcement Center.

Julie Love can be reached at julie.love@knpn.com.