Tampa dad charged with kidnapping for bringing son to Lebanon enters plea deal

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – A Tampa man facing a federal kidnapping charge for taking his son out of the country against his mother’s will has reached a resolution for charges he faced in the state of Florida.

Ali Salamey pleaded no contest to burglary of an occupied dwelling and interference with child custody. By entering that plea, Salamey accepts conviction as though he entered a guilty plea, but does not admit guilt.

However, during the virtual hearing on Monday, Salamey disputed the terms of the deal offered by the state.

“I’m admitting what I did was wrong and I’ve been punished for it and I know I was stupid in what I did,” Salamey said. “All I want is the opportunity to show it in the family court.”

As part of the plea deal, Salamey will be sentenced to three years in Florida state prison followed by 12 years of probation.

“I was told six years not twelve,” Salamey said, interrupting the virtual hearing.

Prosecutor Susan Lopez responded by telling the judge the state’s offer since last October had been 12 years of probation.

Judge Kimberly Fernandez offered Salamey the chance to withdraw his plea, but he declined and has formally waived his right to trial.

Before the international kidnapping to Lebanon, prosecutors say Salamey went to Rachelle Smith’s home in Hillsborough County in the early morning hours of Aug. 1, 2018.

“Upon entry the defendant went to the child’s room and removed out of bed while he was sleeping,” Lopez said while reading the facts of the case.

The conditions of probation restrict Salamey from having contact with the child or the child’s mother and he must abide by all family and civil court orders.

Attorney Patrick Leduc is representing Smith. He told 8 On Your Side over the phone that Salamey has continued to make false allegations about his client and that his behavior during the virtual hearing shows he “still doesn’t understand the gravity of his actions.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 24 2021 08:00 am

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