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New Albany Doctor Sentenced for Rape, Death of Pregnant Mother

DELAWARE (Ken Hines) -- A former New Albany doctor has been sentenced to more than three decades in prison for the rape and involuntary manslaughter of a pregnant mother and her unborn child.

A judge sentenced Ali Salim to a total of 36 years, 4 months in prison in connection with the July, 2012 death of Deanna Ballman, who overdosed on heroin while visiting Salim's New Albany home in response to a Craigslist ad for sex.

Salim received three sentences of 11 years for the rape and death of Ballman, as well as the death of her unborn daughter. The former doctor also received prison sentences of 30 months for tampering with evidence, and 10 months for abuse of a corpse.

Salim has been ordered to serve each sentence consecutively.

Ballman, who was nine months pregnant at the time of her death, turned to prostitution to support herself and her two young children, according to prosecutors. The Craigslist ad placed by Salim offered "$200 for a girl in need."

Salim's attorneys have admitted that their client had sex with Ballman after she passed out from the heroin dose, and then moved her body to a Delaware County field, where she was discovered dead inside a car. Ballman's unborn child also died as a result of the overdose.

Salim's lawyers have denied that the former doctor administered the fatal dose of heroin to Ballman, instead claiming the woman injected herself before she died.

Prosecutors refuted that claim Friday, saying Ballman, 23, had no known history of drug abuse before the day of her death. Prosecutors also stated their belief that the pregnant woman's physical limitations would likely have prevented her from injecting herself in the manner in which the fatal dose was administered.

Ballman's mother addressed Salim in court Friday, calling the former doctor a "coward" for failing to use his knowledge and experience to save the lives of her daughter and granddaughter.
 
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