United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
M. Brinkema United States District Judge.
two-day bench trial, the Court found the defendant Seitu
Sulayman Kokayi guilty as to Counts 1 and 3 of the Indictment
and took Count 2 under advisement. This memorandum provides
additional findings to support the convictions announced in
court as well as the findings supporting defendant's
conviction for the offense charged in Count 2.
November 8, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a three-count
indictment charging Kokayi in Counts 1 and 2 with coercion
and enticement of a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
2422(b), and in Count 3 with transferring obscene materials
to a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1470. See Dkt.
No. 29. Specifically, the indictment charged that from August
2, 2018 and continuing through August 22, 2018, Kokayi used a
facility or means of interstate commerce to knowingly
persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a 15-year-old girl to
engage in sexual activity for which any person can be charged
with a "criminal offense" in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 2422(b). In Count 1, the underlying criminal offense
was "to produce child pornography" in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 2251, Virginia Code § 18.2-374.1, and
Minnesota Statues § 617.246, and in Count 2, it was
"to engage in sexual relations, sexual contact and
sexual acts with Kokayi, a twenty-nine-year-old man" in
violation of Virginia Code § 18.2-371, D.C. Code §
22-3008, and Maryland Criminal Code § 3-307(a)(4) and
Count 3 alleged that during the same period, Kokayi knowingly
used a facility or means of interstate commerce to knowingly
transfer and attempt to transfer obscene matter, specifically
a live video depiction of his penis and him masturbating, to
another individual who had not obtained the age of 16 years,
knowing that said other individual had not attained the age
of 16 years, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1470.
few facts were contested during the trial, in part because
most of the evidence consisted of recordings of Kokayi and
the victim's phone calls, Instagram messages, and the
videotaped interviews of Kokayi and the victim. This evidence
clearly established the following facts.
relevant period, Kokayi was a 29-year-old man living in
Alexandria, Virginia with his wife and infant daughter. From
2009 until his arrest on August 23, 2018, he was a content
developer at the University of Maryland University College,
as well as a Quran teacher at a mosque in Washington, D.C. It
was in the context of Quran lessons that Kokayi first met
Fatiya, the 15-year old victim who had immigrated to the
United States in 2012. She joined Kokayi's Quran class
shortly after her arrival in the United States, switched to a
different Quran instructor for a time, but returned to
Kokayi's class when she was 14 years old.
grew close with Fatiya's family and was trusted by
Fatiya's father to drive her and her older sister to and
from their Saturday Quran class. At some point, the
student/teacher relationship between Fatiya and Kokayi
changed. On August 4, 2018, Fatiya and her sister traveled to
Minnesota to visit family and Kokayi was asked by her father
to drive the two girls to the Baltimore airport. Between
Fatiya's departure to Minnesota on August 4 and
Kokayi's arrest on August 23, Fatiya and Kokayi called
each other 256 times and talked for over 32 hours. The two
also spoke over FaceTime, a video chat application available
on most iPhones, at least 43 times. Audio recordings and
transcripts of these phone calls admitted into evidence
revealed graphic sexual conversations and activities between
the defendant and the victim. Fatiya was 15 years old at the
August 9, Kokayi and Fatiya first spoke about how
"things changed" between them and how their
relationship had evolved beyond that of a teacher and
student, with Kokayi wondering, "Who knows, like, maybe
you'll touch me or something like that, and then, I
don't know, I'm just throwing it out there, right?
And like, that's gonna like, escalate, and right?"
GX29. And escalate it did. Kokayi asked if Fatiya had thought
about "[scenarios or situations where things could
happen," "things" like kissing. Id.
In a call the following night, Fatiya blamed Kokayi for the
inappropriate turn their relationship had taken: "This
is your fault, I was innocent." GX32.
August 11, the two played a game in which they listed the
three things they would do to the other if they were
together. GX33. Fatiya said first they would kiss, then
cuddle, but she was hesitant to say the third thing. Kokayi
repeatedly asked her what the third thing would be until she
finally answered by spelling out "S...E...."
Id. She never added "X" because Kokayi
immediately asked, "So, how are we going to make this
happen?" and then asked whether she was "wet right
now." Id. When she said that she was, he asked
if they could FaceTime. Id. Later that night, when
the two were speaking on the phone again, Kokayi said that he
wanted to give Fatiya "an orgasm first" before
starting her "lessons." GX34. The two then
FaceTimed. Id. The following afternoon, Kokayi asked
Fatiya whether she "actually [had] an orgasm, too?"
GX38. When she said yes, he told her that he was "still
really upset" because she had "put [him] on
mute" while she orgasmed. Id. On August 19, the
two discussed showering together, both in person and over the
phone, GX52, and then proceeded to FaceTime while they both
took showers, GX53. They also discussed how they should act
when Fatiya returned home. Fatiya's father had asked
Kokayi to pick her and her sister up from the Baltimore
airport on August 23. Kokayi wondered if she would sit on his
lap in the car, to which Fatiya responded, "Have you
seen that thing?", which, given the context, the Court
concludes was a reference to the defendant's penis. GX51.
phone conversations were intercepted during authorized FISA
surveillance. Dkt. No. 33. To prevent Kokayi from meeting
Fatiya at the airport, the FBI intervened and executed a
search and arrest warrant on his home on August 23, 2018. He
waived his Miranda rights and engaged in a voluntary
interview with FBI agents shortly after his arrest. The video
of this interview was admitted at trial. GX56. During this
interview, Kokayi admitted to showering and masturbating
simultaneously with Fatiya over FaceTime. The only two
relevant factual issues Kokayi denied were that he intended
to have sexual relations with Fatiya when she returned and
that he knew she was under 16 years of age.
same day, the FBI met Fatiya at her relative's house in
Minnesota. Fatiya was interviewed by FBI Child and Adolescent
Forensic Interviewer Bonnie Fries, and the interview was
videotaped and admitted into evidence at trial. GX67. In that
interview, Fatiya stated that Kokayi knew she was 15 years
old because, in addition to having documents which state her
date of birth, she had told him that she would not be
attending Quran class on her fifteenth birthday. She also
described how she and Kokayi would talk over the phone and on
FaceTime and how he would describe the sexual acts he wanted
to do with her. For example, he told Fatiya how to move her
clothing to expose her breasts and to "flash" her
breasts at him over FaceTime. Id. He also instructed
her to masturbate for him. She claimed that she pretended to
masturbate by touching herself under her pants to show him
over FaceTime. Fatiya also stated that she saw Kokayi's
penis multiple times and that he was "doing stuff
physically with his hands with his penis during these
FaceTime sessions." DX1. She also said that she would
often look away, but he would demand she look at the phone,
and he told her they could get a hotel room to have sex once
she returned to the D.C. area. GX67.
Counts 1 and ...