Prosecutors call him a pastor, police detectives call him a youth program educator and the leadership at his mosque calls him a Korean-studies volunteer, but whatever Ahmad Henry Osman is, he faces up to 50 years to life in state prison and lifetime mandatory sex offender registration if he is convicted of molesting three girls, ages 6, 7 and 9, who he met at the house of worship. That sentence could ultimately be longer if there are, as the Santa Ana Police Department and Orange County District Attorney's office fear, more victims. The two agencies issued a joint statement Thursday urging members of the public to contact them if they have additional information on 52-year-old Tustin resident Osman.
Osman taught children, mostly on weekends and evenings, at The Indo Chinese Islamic Center at 1001 East Grant in Santa Ana, which he had been associated with for more than 20 years, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, the Santa Ana Police spokesman.
On or about Feb. 25, Osman allegedly entered a home where two girls he taught were staying, explaining he was there to perform a daily prayer, according to a joint statement from police and prosecutors. But the teacher instead performed lewd acts upon a 9-year-old girl and later, but on the same day, he allegedly performed lewd acts upon a 6-year-old girl, the authorities say.
That same day, the family of the first girl contacted the Santa Ana Police Department, which launched an investigation that resulted in Osman being arrested the next day, Feb. 26.
Detectives interviewed 33 children who attend classes at the center to see if there were any other alleged victims. Another parent who heard about Osman's arrest approached investigators to allege their 7-year-old daughter was molested at the mosque, Bertagna said.
Currently being held in lieu of $1 million bail for the February case involving the first two girls, Osman will face an amended complaint covering the third girl by the time a pre-trial hearing gets under way some time today in Santa Ana, according to Deputy District Attorney Whitney Bokosky of the Sexual Assault Unit and the prosecutor in the case.
Osman was a volunteer who would help out with Koran studies when educational staffers were unavailable, Imam Abdullah Ahmed told City News Service.
The members of the mosque were shocked to hear of his arrest, Ahmed added.
Osman is charged with two felony counts of performing lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14 with a sentencing enhancement allegation for multiple victims.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Santa Ana Police Investigator Rick Diaz at 714.245.8412 or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Kelly Core at 714.347.8794.