A pastor who spent years in an Iranian prison appeared in court Monday, accused of violating a no-contact order against his ex-wife.
Pastor Saeed Abedini is a Christian convert from Iran who was held captive by the Islamic regime for sharing his faith in September 2012. He spent almost four years in an Iranian prison before being released in 2016 in a negotiated prisoner exchange with three other Americans.
Boise police arrested Abedini Sunday night for violating a restraining order against his ex-wife, Naghmeh, who had campaigned for his release from the Iranian prison but later divorced him after he was freed.
In 2016, a judge ruled that Abedini could only contact his wife via email and text messages over matters concerning their two children.
According to the Idaho Statesmen, an Ada county prosecutor claimed Abedini violated that court order by sending derogatory, name-calling text messages to Naghmeh.
Prosecutors did not say when or where the messages were sent. The content of the messages was not very clear, the newspaper reports.
Abedini has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been assigned a public defender.
He told the judge that he left Boise nine months ago and moved to Lynchburg, Virginia where he continues his work as a minister.
Last year, Abedini pled guilty to violating the restraining order. He also pled guilty to domestic abuse in 2007.