DELAWARE — The doctor convicted of raping a pregnant Pataskala woman who answered his Craigslist ad and of causing the deaths of both her and her unborn baby is headed back to jail.
Delaware County Common Pleas Judge W. Duncan Whitney ruled at a hearing Thursday afternoon that Ali Salim, 44, is a flight risk and should be kept behind bars before his Dec. 20 sentencing.
“The court obviously is not going to ignore the the fact that his bonding company has real concerns that he’s not going to be there,” Whitney said.
Salim, who has been on house arrest since he was charged earlier this year, faces up to 37 years in prison after pleading guilty last month to involuntary manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Deanna Ballman and of her unborn daughter. Salim also pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and abusing Ballman’s corpse. He entered an Alford plea to rape charges, which allows him to maintain his innocence while acknowledging he would likely be convicted if the case went to trial. The Alford plea carries the same weight as a guilty plea.
Ballman’s body was found in her car in a field in a rural part of Delaware County on Aug. 1, 2012, a day after she told her mother she was answering a Craigslist ad to clean a house. She was nine months pregnant when she died.
Prosecutors said that Salim gave Ballman heroin and that there was evidence to suggest he injected it into her thigh. An autopsy showed she died of a heroin overdose.
Until his arrest, Salim was an emergency-room psychiatrist at Knox Community Hospital in Mount Vernon. He is not a U.S. citizen and could be deported to his native Pakistan after he is released from prison. The State Medical Board suspended his license in April.