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Son says Louisiana dad got Iran cops to jail him.

It's complicated. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, automobile dealer Hamid Ghassemi is awaiting trial with three other men in the alleged murder-for-hire of his ex-wife. Now, their son has filed suit against the father, seeking payment for what he says was "torture and unspeakable mental anguish" suffered by his mother during her 2015 kidnapping and killing.

After her death, the son took his mother's body back to Iran for burial--and was jailed and detained there for a year-and-a-half before being allowed to return to the US with no trial. Now the son is charging that his father arranged to have him jailed in Iran

The son, Hamed (with an e, not an i) Ghassemi is seeking damages from his father, Hamid (with an i, not an e) and the other men--Tyler Ashpaugh, Skyler Williams and Daniel Humberto Richter--who the state says were hired by the father to commit murder for hire.

The son's suit alleges Taherah Ghassemi died "as a result of the criminal actions of Hamid Ghassemi and other individuals who were paid by him to murder her."

Hamed Ghassemi's suit, filed just before Now Ruz, notes that Hamid and Taherah Ghassemi divorced in February 2015, and that his mother was awarded $1.1 million in cash plus two homes in Louisiana as part of the division of community property. The father "timely and fully satisfied" those financial obligations, the suit says.

The son reported his 54year-old mother missing from her Baton Rouge home April 12, 2015, the same day her burned late-model Jaguar sedan was found elsewhere in the city.

Taherah Ghassemi's body was discovered May 16 in a shallow grave in a rural area with a gunshot to the head.

The suit repeats what authorities already have said: that the father paid $10,000 to have his former wife killed, and that

Taherah Ghassemi was abducted from her home, put in the trunk of her car, shot in the head and buried. Hamid Ghassemi also provided a container of gasoline to burn her car "to hide potential evidence of the crime," the suit adds.

"Hamid Ghassemi, Tyler Ashpaugh, Daniel Richter and Skyler Williams are liable for the torture and unspeakable mental anguish perpetrated upon Taherah Ghassemi by her subsequent violent kidnap and murder," the suit alleges.

The son is also seeking dam ages for his own mental anguish and pain over the loss of his mother.

Hamid Ghassemi, 66, Richter, 35, Ashpaugh, 22, and Williams, 19, are all being held without bail on first-degree murder charges.

In his lawsuit, the son also blames his father for arranging to have him falsely arrested and unjustly imprisoned in Iran after he returned there to bury his mother. He alleges his father "caused persons located in Iran to falsely accuse [him] of violation of various Iranian secular and religious laws."

Hamed Ghassemi, who was finally able to return to the US in January, has been in court for several of his father's recent court appearances in Baton Rouge.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office has said the father's cellphone records indicate he received a call from Ashpaugh about 12:45 a.m. the morning after his ex-wife disappeared, and Ashpaugh's phone records show he had been at Taherah Ghassemi's home the night she went missing and at the sites where her car and body were found.

Ashpaugh told detectives he went with Richter and Williams to the woman's home and abducted her. Richter once worked at one of Hamid Ghassemi's car dealerships, detectives have said.

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Title Annotation:Diaspora: Around the globe
Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Geographic Code:1U7LA
Date:Apr 21, 2017
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