Benham Slim has been given a prison sentence for abducting his three daughters from St. Thomas, Ontario 20 years ago, reports the London Free Press.
The now-52-year-old former baker separated from his then-wife, Angela Romans, in 1991. Two years later, he kidnapped his three daughters — seven, six and two years old at the time — and took them to Lebanon, breaking family court orders in the process, according to Blackburn News.
Slim, who has American and Lebanese citizenship, was charged in absentia with three counts of abduction, but since Canada and Lebanon have no extradition treaty, there was little hope of getting him back to stand trial.
He returned to Canada in 1997, leaving behind not only his three daughters, but a second wife and twin sons.
With a warrant for his arrest already out, Slim was taken into custody when he arrived at Toronto's Pearson Airport.
The trial could finally begin, except it didn't.
Slim pleaded not guilty, and Justice Gregory Pockele took "an unusual step" of releasing him on the condition that he would go return to Lebanon to get his daughters and come back to Canada to face his charges.
That didn't happen.
In 1998, Slim was charged — again, in absentia — with breaching his recognizance to return.
“I distinctly impressed upon him the absolute importance and necessity that he comply with a recognizance and that he return before me to complete the trial,” Pockele told the London Free Press.
Over the next 4 years, Slim's daughters would fight to rejoin their mother in the U.S., eventually making it to Texas in 2003.
Slim was arrested in Detroit in October, 2012, the Elliot Lake Standard reported. U.S. officials met with Canadian authorities and handed over Slim, who according to the London Free Press now now has a third wife and three kids from that marriage.
Justice Pockele, the same judge who handled the case 16 years ago, gave Slim his prison sentence of four and a half years on Wednesday. This time, Slim pleaded guilty.
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