Boise & Garden City

Abedini domestic violence incident in 2007 triggered by laptop argument

Saeed Abedini with the Rev. Franklin Graham shortly after Abedini arrived in Charlotte, N.C., in January 2016. His parents look on.
Saeed Abedini with the Rev. Franklin Graham shortly after Abedini arrived in Charlotte, N.C., in January 2016. His parents look on. Provided by Samaritan’s Purse

Two months before Boise pastor Saeed Abedini was released from an Iranian prison, explosive revelations from his wife, Naghmeh, complicated Abedini’s personal story. Naghmeh alleged that she had been the victim of domestic abuse during much of the couple’s 11-year marriage.

Last week, the Idaho Statesman reported that Saeed pleaded guilty to domestic battery following a July 2007 incident at the couple’s West Boise home. The Statesman this week obtained a copy of the incident report from the Boise Police Department, following a public records request.

It reveals that Saeed Abedini got into an argument with his wife and shoved her several times during an incident at the couple’s West Boise home on July 1, 2007.

The argument came while Saeed, then 27, was speaking with family members. Naghmeh, then 30, got upset at something he told his family and tried to close the laptop computer he was using to talk with them, Saeed told police.

A description of the argument was redacted in the copy of the report provided to the newspaper.

Naghmeh — who was holding her daughter, Rebekka, then 10 months old — told police that her husband “pushed her several times” and forced her out of the room. Naghmeh said Saeed pushed her in the neck and upper chest, and the officer, Erik Tiner, now a sergeant, reported seeing a “slight amount of redness” in that area, according to his report.

“He told me that he told her to get out of the room and made hand gestures indicating that he pushed her,” Tiner wrote. “I asked him if he pushed her and he denied doing so.”

Naghmeh told Tiner that Saeed threatened to beat her up if she did not leave the room. She also claimed that she had previously been the victim of domestic violence when the couple lived in Iran. She told Saeed she would call police if it happened again, she told Tiner.

Saeed told Tiner that Naghmeh pushed him as she attempted to close the laptop. She denied touching him, according to the report.

When Tiner asked what she wanted done, Naghmeh told him that “she wanted him to go to jail for domestic battery.” She then signed a criminal citation.

Saeed was arrested that day and taken to the Ada County Jail. Following a video arraignment the following day, he was released on his own recognizance.

During court proceedings, Saeed was assisted by an interpreter who spoke Farsi, the Persian language of Iran.

Saeed initially pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge, but changed his plea to guilty on Jan. 25, 2008, according to court records. He was given a suspended 90-day jail sentence and fined $76. He was placed on probation for a year by Ada County Magistrate Michael Oths.

Saeed was also ordered to attend eight hours of sessions on anger management. He completed that requirement before entering his guilty plea, records show.

Neither Saeed nor Naghmeh responded to requests for comment for this story.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @IDS_Sowell

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