Appeals court upholds stalking conviction for Abdulrahman Zeitoun, post-Katrina rescuer

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 11:55:11 PM. A state appeals court has upheld the conviction of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, whose heroic reputation for rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina was tainted by the years of harassment he directed toward
A state appeals court has upheld the conviction of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, whose heroic reputation for rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina was tainted by the years of harassment he directed toward his ex-wife. Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson was well within her bounds when she convicted Zeitoun and sentenced him to four years in prison, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal said Wednesday. Zeitoun, 60, was convicted in June 2015 of stalking a person who had a protective order against him. On appeal, he sought to have the court throw out his conviction or his sentence. Judges Joy Cossich Lobran, Roland Belsome and Marion Edwards were unanimous in deciding against him. “The record evidences how deeply afraid (Kathy Zeitoun) was of defendant, and what a visceral response she had to his presence, due to defendant’s repeated harassment,” the panel said. Katrina literary hero Abdulrahman Zeitoun convicted of felony stalking The Syrian immigrant and painting contractor rose to literary prominence in 2009, when author Dave Eggers wrote a book that lionized him for rescuing his neighbors in a canoe after the storm. Eggers also chronicled the weeks Zeitoun spent behind bars on a false suspicion of looting. Zeitoun claimed on appeal that the criminal justice system once again failed him during his trial, when his ex-wife detailed years of harassment and abuse she said she suffered at his hands. After Kathy Zeitoun divorced her husband...Read more
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