A Tufts Medical Center anesthesiologist has been charged with attempted sex trafficking after he allegedly agreed to pay $250 to meet with a 14-year-old girl as part of a sting operation, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Dr. Sadeq A. Quraishi is accused of agreeing to pay an undercover federal agent who was posing as the mother of a teenage girl, prosecutors said. He was arrested Wednesday when he arrived at a hotel with plans to pay the mother and meet the girl, according to an affidavit filed in federal court by Homeland Security Investigations.
He was ordered held without bail on Thursday pending a detention hearing slated for Tuesday.
In a statement, Boston attorney Daniel J. Gaudet said: “Dr. Quraishi firmly denies the allegations that have been made against him. He looks forward to contesting these claims in court where he is confident that he will be exonerated.”
Prosecutors said Quraishi answered an online ad in which a woman said she was traveling with “two beautiful flowers that are ready to bloom,” according to the affidavit. Quraishi allegedly had an extensive text exchange with the “mother” in which he repeatedly asked if she was a police officer, according to the affidavit.
The “mother,” who was actually an undercover HSI agent, allegedly told Quraishi that she had two daughters, ages 14 and 12.
“Uh ... you a cop?” Quraishi allegedly responded, according to the affidavit.
“No way. just trying to make a living best way we know how,” the agent replied.
“Oh, ok,” he allegedly answered. “Not in the mood to get arrested today.”
Quraishi and the undercover agent allegedly discussed various sex acts, and Quraishi expressed some hesitation about the girl’s age, according to the affidavit.
“I think everyone has fantasies but this seems a little over the top,” he allegedly texted.
“Nah its all natural,” the agent replied.
“Would never have done this if you were not so persuasive ... Hey you’ve been super nice and I appreciate it ... just the age thing is throwing me,” Quraishi allegedly texted the agent. “If you were to tell me she’s 16 or older and just looks young enough to pass off for 14 that would be a different thing.”
“Its alright. i mean you can pretend if you want,” the agent replied.
At the hotel, Quraishi allegedly showed an undercover agent that he had cash and was given a key to a hotel room. The agent said “no rough stuff” with her daughters, the affidavit said.
At that point, Quraishi was arrested and authorities recovered a cell phone matching the one used during the text conversations, authorities allege. During an interview after his arrest, Quraishi “indicated he has purchased sex in the past,” the affidavit said.
Quraishi is a board-certified anesthesiologist, intensivist, and clinical nutrition specialist in the Boston hospital’s departments of anesthesiology and critical care, according to the Board of Registration in Medicine, the Tufts Medical Center website, and his LinkedIn profile.
He is a 2004 graduate of Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, was a resident and intern in anesthesiology at the M. Hershey Medical Center, and was a fellow in anesthesiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine between 2009 and 2010, according to the Board of Registration in Medicine.
Tufts Medical Center said in a statement, “When we learned today of the disturbing allegations made against Dr. Quraishi, we immediately suspended his medical staff privileges, and he has been placed on leave while we await further information from law enforcement.”