See a previous report on Alan Li’s arrest in the video player above.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — An Ohio native turned Florida doctor started the new year with a new title: convicted sex offender.
Alan Li, a 27-year-old graduate of Hilliard Darby High School, took a plea deal in January after FBI agents arrested him in May 2022 during a sex trafficking sting. He had faced two charges:
- Attempted sex trafficking of a minor
- Attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity
Li pleaded guilty to the second charge, resulting in the dismissal of the first charge as part of the deal. A federal judge sentenced him on Jan. 12 to 10 years in prison, as well as 10 years of supervised release. Li will also have to register as a sex offender, but his attorney, Daniel Rashbaum, did successfully get him clearance to use computers upon release as long as he had monitoring software installed.
There was, however, an extra condition of the doctor’s conviction that his attorney noted.
“In Mr. Li’s eyes, he has already received the greatest punishment of all: because of his conviction, he will never practice medicine again,” Rashbaum wrote. “With his career only just getting started, this is an agonizing pill for him to swallow.”
The FBI began looking into Li after getting a tip from a woman in Columbus. She had previously met Li in Columbus through a dating website, and had told him about her past experience of being trafficked at a young age. While working as a doctor at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, he contacted her in March 2022 with a Snapchat message asking for help.
“You said you were trafficked right?” Li asked the woman. “My friend wants to meet young girls and he is willing to pay, can you help him out?”
Undercover FBI agents took an interest in Li after she reported the conversation. They conducted in-person surveillance on him while an agent tried twice to arrange fake meetings for the doctor to buy an underage girl. The agent had offered him a 12-year-old girl as a live-in sex slave for $20,000 and asked for a down payment over CashApp. Li asked to use cash in-person or Bitcoin instead, and ultimately never gave the agent any payment.
The months-long investigation ended with Li’s arrest on May 12, after he backed out of two separate meetings to buy a girl.
A sentencing memorandum document included letters Li wrote to his parents, in which he called himself “scum,” and expressed remorse over his actions.
“I know it’s too late to undo what happened,” Li wrote. “But I will keep trying to become a better man tomorrow. For now, I can only take this punishment.”
The former doctor was being held in a federal prison in Atlanta as of Thursday. To be closer to his family in Ohio however, court documents showed he would carry out his prison sentence at Federal Correction Institution Elkton, near Lisbon.