Modified: December 4, 2018 11:52am
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that a jury has found 33-year-old Ghanem AbuGhanem of Lackawanna guilty on one count of Strangulation in the Second Degree, a Class “D” violent felony, one count of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing, a Class “A” misdemeanor, and two counts of Assault in the Third Degree, also Class “A” misdemeanors. The defendant was convicted on all charges in the indictment against him after one hour of deliberations following a six day trial.
On July 18, 2017, at approximately 5:40 p.m., the defendant assaulted and strangled the victim, his pregnant wife, following an argument inside their home on Ingham Avenue in Lackawanna.
The defendant dragged the victim into their toddler’s empty bedroom. When the victim attempted to call for help, the defendant threw her cell phone against the wall, which caused the battery to pop out.
The defendant forced the victim to the ground, put his hands on her neck and applied pressure in an attempt to obstruct her breathing. The defendant also jumped on the victim’s back and drove his knee into her spine, causing her pain. After choking her, the defendant punched the victim in the face with a cell phone in his hand.
As the victim screamed for help, the defendant used a baby blanket to gag the victim and wrapped it tightly around her head and neck, strangling the victim until she lost consciousness.
When the victim awoke in pain with a bloodied nose and mouth, she was able to put her cell phone back together and call 911.
AbuGhanem faces a maximum of 7 years in prison when he is sentenced on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.
“I commend the victim for her bravery in not only coming forward about the abuse she endured at the hands of her husband, but also for her bravery in testifying against him. I hope that she feels justice has been served by a jury finding the defendant guilty on all counts for this violent attack,” said DA Flynn.
DA Flynn commends the quick response by Theodore Katra and Gene Oivieri of the Lackawanna Fire Department who were first on the scene to help the victim as well as EMT Diana Scott.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Louis C. Mussari and Timothy J. Garvin of the DA’s Domestic Violence Bureau.