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Ohio Prosecutor: Murdered Pregnant Mom 'Turned to Prostitution'

COLUMBUS (AP) -- An Ohio prosecutor says a pregnant woman who was raped and killed last year had turned to prostitution to make ends meet and died after answering a Craigslist ad offering $200.

Delaware County assistant prosecutor Kyle Rohrer says 23-year-old Deanna Ballman was in a difficult financial situation after separating from her husband and trying to support two young children.

Ali Salim, a former doctor, has pleaded guilty to raping and killing Ballman.

Rohrer said in a court filing Thursday that Salim used Craigslist extensively to meet sexual partners, with many references to exchanging drugs for sex, including heroin.

Rohrer is pushing for a maximum sentence of 37 years at Salim's Dec. 20 sentencing.

Investigators say Salim fatally injected Ballman with heroin. They say there is no evidence Ballman used drugs.

Ballman's mother, Lori Ballman, said her daughter's behavior did not justify her murder. 

"My daughter was in a difficult financial situation," she said. "She was trying to provide for her family and her new baby. I love my daughter, and no matter what she did, this does not excuse what Ali Salim did to her.  He could have saved my daughter, he could have saved Mabel. 
 
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