Man pleads to abduction in downtown attack
By Joe Gorman
A man charged with attacking a woman downtown in early September pleaded guilty to a charge of abduction Tuesday, the day jury selection in his trial was to begin.
Mateen Abdullah, 51, entered his plea before Judge John Durkin in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and will be sentenced April 10. He is in the county jail.
Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of two years, but defense attorney Mark Lavelle said he will argue for less at sentencing.
Judge Durkin told Abdullah he was not sure what sentence he will hand down, but he did tell him he will not exceed the two-year recommendation by prosecutors because Abdullah did accept responsibility for his actions.
Abdullah was arrested by police Sept. 10 in an attack on a woman Sept. 3 downtown.
The woman said in a police report that she was walking out of 20 Federal Place at 7 p.m. Sept. 3 when a man followed her out of the building and asked her why she was walking on the street by herself.
The woman said she was walking to meet her boyfriend, and the man grabbed her by her hair and demanded a kiss. She tried to pull away but the man said he would kill her if she screamed. She screamed anyway, and the man ran away, reports said.
The woman then ran back to 20 Federal Place and called for help. Abdullah was arrested after the woman spotted him downtown while she was going to work and alerted police.
Assistant Prosecutor Dawn Cantalamessa said the victim knows of the plea offer and she has approved. Cantalamessa also said that she is recommending that any sentence given to Abdullah run concurrent to probation he is expected to receive for similar charges in 2010.
In 2010, he was sentenced to four years in prison for a 2009 attack on a girlfriend in which he cut her with a box cutter and ran away. He was caught a short time later by police. He also was ordered to undergo alcohol counseling and was placed on three years’ probation. As of now, there has no been hearing scheduled for Abdullah to determine if he violated his probation in that case, Lavelle said.
He also has been convicted of rape before in Tennessee, police said.