Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced a Jacksonville doctor has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for traveling to meet someone he thought was a child, intending to have a sexual encounter with that child. Irfan Nawaz was arrested in April 2008 by the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.
He pleaded guilty in December to one count of traveling to meet a minor for sex and one count of using a computer to solicit a child. He was prosecuted by attorneys with the Attorney General’s CyberCrime Unit.
In March 2008, Nawaz, 33, approached an undercover investigator from the Attorney General’s CyberCrime Unit, in an internet chatroom and began to talk to the investigator, believing he was talking to a 14-year old girl.
Over the course of several weeks, Nawaz initiated several chat conversations which were extremely sexually explicit with the “child” and discussed possibly meeting her to engage in sexual activity.
During the same time period, another detective with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office received a CyberTip complaint from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding a man who had engaged in a sexually explicit conversation with a young girl living in the detective’s jurisdiction.
Acting on the CyberTip complaint, the detective posed online as a 15-year old female friend of the child named in the CyberTip complaint. Nawaz began chatting with the “girl” and arranged to meet her to engage in sexual activity. When Nawaz arrived at the meeting point, he was arrested by the detective.
The Osceola County Sheriff's Office executed a search at Nawaz’s home for computers with assistance from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The detective from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was familiar with the CyberCrime Unit’s case and realized Nawaz might be same suspect who had been soliciting the undercover CyberCrime investigator.
The CyberCrime investigator was able to verify that Nawaz was indeed the same person who had engaged him in sexually explicit chats. Additionally, authorities discovered Nawaz had engaged in sexually explicit conversations with undercover investigators from the Polk County Sheriff's Office, thinking he was talking to another young girl.
Upon his release from prison, Nawaz must register with the state as a sex offender. Nawaz was formerly employed as a physician at the Mayo Foundation in Jacksonville and at the time of his arrest was working toward obtaining his board certification in gastroenterology.