Detroit man nicknamed 'Panda' on Snapchat charged in child pornography case

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Posted at 6:17 PM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 18:18:16-04

(WXYZ) — A Detroit man has been charged in federal court with production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography, accused of raping and sextorting a 14-year-old.

In an affidavit filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan, FBI agents allege Ahmad Haidar-Ahmad met the victim at age 13-years-old in the late fall or early winter of 2020 through Snapchat. They began communicating at that time and then decided to meet up in Haidar's car down the street from the victim's house.

The FBI agent writes that during that first meeting, Haidar locked the victim in his car, handcuffed and raped the victim. Afterward, the victim walked home but was locked out of the house. The victim then called Haidar for help. Haidar then picked the victim back up and took the victim to his house for about a week. During that time, they allegedly had sex multiple times, which Haidar is said to have recorded on his phone.

Federal officials were notified about the incidents on October 7, when the 14-year-old reported to their school counselor that they had been raped by Haidar and that they were being sextorted by him. School resources officer called the FBI.

Agents interviewed the victim three times based on the allegation, including with an adolescent forensic interviewer. During those interviews, the victim spelled Haidar's legal name and said he went by the nickname "Panda" on Snapchat. The victim also identified Haidar's phone number and described his house in Detroit, which the victim later identified after being shown a picture of the home in Detroit that Michigan Secretary of State records confirm is Haidar's residence.

The victim also provided investigators with their phone, which contained a homemade video of an unknown man having sex with a young person. The victim told them the video was of Haidar having sex with them, in Haidar's home, and that Haidar filmed it. The victim also stated Haidar had sent them the video through Snapchat.

During the follow-up investigation following the interviews, agents verified the phone number was associated with Haidar as recently as this month. That number was also tied to the Snapchat account for "Panda". Agents also identified Haidar's Facebook account, which included a profile picture with three stuffed pandas in the background.

On Thursday, investigators executed a search warrant at Haidar's residence. Officials say they seized a cell phone with multiple videos of Haidar and the victim having sex, a red pillowcase marching the color and design of the bed in the videos, and multiple stuffed pandas during the search. Agents also took pictures of the bedroom furniture described by the victim during the interviews.

Investigators also interviewed Haidar, who admitted communicating with the victim, whom he says he thought was 17, and having sex on multiple occasions. Officials say he also admitted to filming himself and the victim and sending the video to at least two people, including the victim.

Haidar was arraigned on the charges Thursday. He was ordered detained pending a detention hearing.