Man gets 60 days in child abduction case

September 11, 2012

Source: napavalleyregister

A 31-year-old man, arrested this summer at San Francisco International Airport as he allegedly tried to fly to the Middle East with his two young daughters in defiance of a court order, was sentenced Tuesday to two months in Napa County jail.

On July 12, authorities said, Alwawi was detained as he allegedly tried to board a plane with his two daughters to fly to Chicago and then to Amman, Jordan, in defiance of a child abduction prevention order, according to court documents.

His wife, from whom he was separated, had obtained the court order because she had become increasingly concerned that her husband wanted to leave the country with their two girls, according to court filings.

In September, Ahmad Alwawi pleaded no contest in Napa County Superior Court to two counts of child abduction.

A no contest plea, during which defendants neither admit nor dispute a charge, has the same immediate effect as a guilty plea in sentencing hearings.

On Thursday, prosecuting attorney Holly Quate said the 60-day sentence was “fair given the circumstances.”

Alwawi, an unemployed certified public accountant, had found new employment in Saudi Arabia, according to court filings. But he wanted his wife to leave behind her two older children from another relationship, court documents said.

Alwawi was separated from his wife in July, when he allegedly took his girls’ passports  his wife had hidden in an air conditioning vent, according to the probation report.

Alwawi, according to the report, expressed remorse for his actions and stated he has “lost everything.” His plan, Alwawi told the probation officer, was to show the three $8,500 plane tickets to his wife and return them for a refund, according to the court filing.

“The defendant said he then planned on returning home to show his wife that he had the ‘opportunity’ to leave and take their children, but he did not leave because ‘that’s how much I loved’ her. The defendant said he was ‘thinking with his heart and not his head,’” the probation officers wrote.

On Tuesday, Napa County Superior Court Judge Mark Boessenecker also sentenced Alwawi to serve 140 hours of community service and remain under probation for three years. Alwawi also has to obey a family court order, which includes staying away from his wife and two daughters, the judge ruled.

A family court judge on Sept. 30 ordered that Alwawi can only see the two girls three times a week for three hours under supervision.

Alwawi, a former Napa resident who now lives in Benicia, reports to jail on Dec. 1.

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