Former hotel clerk sentenced for sexually assaulting runaway

A 24-year-old former hotel clerk will serve about three years in prison and 10 years of supervised probation for sexually assaulting a runaway 14-year-old girl at his hotel last year.

Mohammed Omer Siddiqui pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of sexual imposition, a Class B felony, in August.

Under the terms of a binding plea deal, he was given a deferred imposition of sentence for 10 years, during which he will be on supervised probation. He must serve three years in prison as a condition of probation. With credit for the 382 days he has already served and any time off his sentence earned by good behavior, he will be released in under two years. Siddiqui must also undergo any recommended sex offender treatment and register as a sex offender.

At his sentencing hearing on Friday, Siddiqui said he was inexperienced. He said he did not know the girl’s age and was devastated to find out how young she was. The girl told Siddiqui she was 17. Siddiqui said he is ashamed of his behavior.

“I’m extremely sorry for taking advantage of her when she needed my help,” Siddiqui told Judge Richard Hagar.

Siddiqui said he hopes to continue his education. He was studying for an engineering degree at the time of his arrest.

According to court documents and statements made at previous hearings, the girl went to the Astoria Hotel early on the morning of Oct. 31, 2016. She had run away from the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch and was looking for a place where she could use the internet to find a ride and a place to stay with friends. She told authorities that Siddiqui, who goes by the nickname “Zac,” offered to let her stay in a vacant room, but told her he would kick her out if she did not have sex with him. She refused to have sex and thought he had given up. He later offered to bring her food and ordered something from Denny’s. She went back up to the room. She claimed that Siddiqui again entered the hotel room and threatened to make her leave if she wouldn’t have sex. The girl told a detective that Siddiqui forced her to perform a sexual act.

A detective testified at the preliminary hearing that Siddiqui later gave the girl money for laundry and arranged for her to get a ride somewhere from Astoria Hotel staff. The girl was driven to the Holiday Inn Express, where she was found lying on a floor. She was turned over to the custody of the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. She disclosed the assault and was taken to Trinity Hospital for an examination.

Ward County Assistant State’s Attorney Marie Miller told Hagar her office has contacted the girl’s family and they are aware of the plea deal. The office has had trouble getting a response back from the girl or her family. The girl has run away from home on multiple occasions, based on past media reports.