DELAWARE, Ohio – A former Ohio doctor was sentenced to 36 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to causing the death of an expectant mom forced to turn to prostitution to support herself and her two young children.
Former emergency room doctor Ali Salim had faced up to 37 years in prison.
Delaware County Judge Duncan Whitney said in sentencing him that the crime was the worst he’s ever seen and that it was unthinkable that as a man of medicine, Salim allowed the woman to die.
When victim Deanna Ballman disappeared in July 2012, her family initially said she had answered a housekeeping ad on Craigslist. Instead, investigators determined the 23-year-old woman had taken up prostitution when she moved back to Ohio after a divorce and with no financial means.
Ballman, 23, was nine months pregnant with a girl she planned to call Mabel.
The ad she responded to: $200 for a girl in need, an online euphemism for prostitution, assistant Delaware County prosecutor Kyle Rohrer said.
That decision unknowingly but ultimately cost her and Mabel their lives, Rohrer said.
Ballman died of a fatal heroin overdose, which investigators say Salim administered at his house. Rohrer says there is no evidence Ballman used drugs.