Louisville man convicted of child exploitation in Operation Gabbi Doolin investigation
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Louisville man has been convicted of multiple child exploitation offenses following a sting operation named after a 7-year-old murdered in Allen County, Kentucky.
Joseph Samir Zakhiri was charged back in November 2020 with online enticement of a minor enticement of a minor, attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor and attempted production of child pornography.
Zakhiri was one of seven men charged in Operation Gabbi Doolin, a sting named after a 7-year-old who was found dead in 2015 after disappearing from her brother’s youth football game.
On Friday, a federal judge convicted Zakhiri of multiple child exploitation offenses after a five-day trial, according to the United States Department of Justice.
Court documents state a detective posed as a 15-year-old girl on a social media app and was contacted by Zakhari.
Zakhari told the detective he was 32, and the detective told him she was 15. After revealing their ages, documents said Zakhari began requesting sexual history and “repeatedly talked about sex acts he wanted to engage in” between the dates of Oct. 6 and Oct. 8 of 2019.
The detective said Zakhari had asked for sexual images from who he believed was a 15-year-old girl and sent sexually explicit images of himself, requesting to meet in person to “engage in sex acts.”
On Oct. 8, 2019, Zakhari arranged for an Uber to pick up the girl to bring to his condo for the sole purpose of engaging in sexual activity with the girl who he believed was 15.
Law enforcement arranged a decoy law enforcement officer to meet up with Zakhari, and after being invited into his residence, Zakhari was arrested by law enforcement.
Zakhari was found guilty of all charges by a jury and will be sentenced in January 2022, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett. Zakhari is facing a mandatory sentence of no less than fifteen years in jail under federal law.
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