Further details have emerged about the criminal past of poker pervert Shahram Sheikhan, courtesy of a website that tracks sex crimes.
Sheikhan, a professional poker player from Las Vegas, evoked controversy earlier this month when he appeared on NBC’s late-night poker show, “Poker After Dark.” www.PokerHelper.com broke the story that the 38-year-old Iranian native had been the effort of a failed deportation effort by the U.S. government last year, because Sheikhan had served time in prison for a sex crime against a minor 10 years ago and the Feds were now trying to deport him and other foreigners who are convicted sex offenders. Specific details of the crime, though, had been unavailable, until now.
A website that tracks sex crimes, Perverted Primates (www.pervertedprimates.com), notified www.PokerHelper.com after seeing the Sheikhan story to say it was now conducting its own investigation into the perverted poker pro’s past, and had uncovered a news article about the case.
Here, courtesy of Perverted Primates, is that news article, which it just posted on its website and which appeared in the Nov. 22, 1995, edition of the Contra Costa Times, a California newspaper:
MANAGER GETS 9 MONTHS FOR MOLESTATION
By Catherine Hedgecock and Carolyn McMillan
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.–The manager of a downtown youth clothing and amenities store has been sentenced to nine months in jail for sexual battery and child molestation involving two teenage girls he met at the store. =A0=A0 Shahram Sheikan, who goes by the first name Shawn, ran the Diversity store, owned by his family, at 1419 Broadway. The store sells clothing, posters, cards, backpacks and other items geared toward teenagers. =A0=A0 A jury last week convicted Sheikan of three misdemeanor counts of child molestation for verbal sexual harassment of two girls who were 16 and 17 at the time of the incidents last year. The jury also found him guilty of one misdemeanor count of sexual battery against the younger girl. He was sentenced Monday. =A0=A0 Two other teens testified against Sheikan during his trial, but Sheikan was not convicted on any charges related to them. The jury acquitted Sheikan on two counts and deadlocked on the rest, said Walnut Creek-Danville Municipal Court Judge Bruce Mills. =A0=A0 The girls testified that Sheikan, 26, repeatedly asked them for sex, and became increasingly aggressive after they turned him down. Eventually, he began physically pulling them onto his lap and demanding hugs. In one incident, he put his hands down the younger girl’s pants, she said. =A0=A0 “I felt like a piece of meat,” she said. “We felt we should stand up for ourselves. I had nightmares about him, and I didn’t want other people to have to go through this.” =A0=A0 In an interview Tuesday at the County Jail in Martinez, Sheikan said the convictions were “all just a big misunderstanding.” The climate of the store was one full of flirtation and sexual innuendo, he said. =A0=A0 “When I first opened the store, we had tons of girls=A0 girls and guys=A0 who wanted to hang out and be part of something. All day long I would have to hear what guys they wanted to be with. . . they were constantly talking about sex.” =A0=A0 He did not deny trial testimony that he tried to persuade the two girls to have sex in exchange for a skateboard, but said he was kidding. =A0=A0 “It was just a big joke and that’s why I’m sitting in this hole.” Sheikan said. “I am not a criminal. I’m a businessman. I don’t prey on young girls.” =A0=A0 During sentencing Mills admonished Sheikan for denying under oath that the crimes took place and said Sheikan’s testimony was not credible.
In a related develpment, Perverted Primates also found and posted on its website another news article, from a Las Vegas newspaper, which reveals that Sheikram killed someone–accidentally–in 1999.
That article, by Ed Koch and from the July 9, 1999, edition of the Las Vegas Sun, is mainly about a big rainstorm that hit Las Vegas the day before, but the relevant portion reads:
“One of the two deaths attributed to the storm was the result of an auto accident just after 11 a.m., when a car hydroplaned in the northwest part of the valley. A Mercedes, driven by Las Vegan Shahram Sheikhan, 29, was traveling at speeds too fast for the slick road conditions on Buffalo Drive just north of Charleston Boulevard, Metro Police said. The Mercedes slid across the raised center median of southbound Buffalo and struck a Lincoln traveling in the northbound lanes, police said. The female passenger, 91-year-old Dorathy Ohriner of Las Vegas, died at the scene, the Clark County Coroner’s office said today. The Lincoln was driven by Neil Ohriner, 66, also of Las Vegas, police said Sheikhan and Mr. Ohriner were taken to University Medical Center with moderate injuries.”
No further information was immediately available about what, if any, legal charges emerged from the crash.
Perverted Primates also said on its website that Sheikhan has a page on MySpace.com–a social networking site–and it has contacted the operators of MySpace.com to notify them of Sheikhan’s status as a child molester, so the page can be removed. MySpace.com and similar sites do not allow those convicted of sex crimes against children to have pages, because such pages can be used to contact minors.
Finally, in another development on the Sheikhan front, the controversy about his appearance on NBC is starting to receive national attention.
A story in the new edition of Globe magazine (cover date Feb. 11, 2008), a supermarket tabloid that covers scandal in the entertainment industry, reports on the controversy and interviews the www.PokerHelper.com writer who broke the story.
(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected].)