Akshay Rajshekar appeared in federal court Thursday afternoon. He was wearing glasses and a jail-issued orange jumpsuit. A few rows back in the courtroom, his family members wiped away tears.
He's just 18 years old. He was studying engineering and living in a dorm at the University of Maryland in College Park. It sounds like the foundation for a bright future, but Rajshekar is now locked up facing federal charges of arranging to engage in sexual conduct with a minor and distributing child pornography.
"No sign at all. He seemed like he was a pretty cool dude," says Alston Olds, a fellow student who lived in the same dorm.
According to court documents an undercover detective placed an ad on Craigslist in the "casual encounters" section. The subject line was "taboo dad." The court documents say Rajshekar responded to the ad saying he had an "urge."
The documents say the undercover detective, posing as a dad, offered up his 12-year-old daughter. Investigators say Rajshekar responded with a reference to pedophilia: "...I really want to experience what it is like ... I have been trying to meet other pedos online with similar interest ... its hard as hell."
When asked what he was looking for, court documents say Rajshekar responded: "something fun, hot ... yes pedo hot."
The documents say Rajshekar told the detective: "...my ideal girl would probably be an 8-year-old."
Authorities say the detective arranged for Rajshekar to meet that 12-year-old girl, who doesn't actually exist, this past Monday in D.C. Authorities say Rajshekar was arrested when he showed up for the meeting with a backpack containing a box of condoms and a laptop computer to exchange child pornography.
One classmate told FOX 5: "I can't look at him the same way I looked at him before."
Several students told us that a few weeks ago they had become aware of a previous charge of child pornography against Rajshekar in Wicomico County. That is where he grew up on the Eastern Shore.
He has not been convicted of anything. He was out on bond and had returned to the University of Maryland.
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