TAMPA — The Bradenton woman who kidnapped an immigrant couple’s baby in Plant City to trick her husband — Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata — into thinking he was a new father has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.
A Hillsborough County judge sentenced 44-year-old Amalia Tabata-Pereira on Thursday. She had pleaded guilty in July to kidnapping, interference with custody and impersonating a public officer.
Officials say that Tabata-Pereira, posing as an immigration official, approached the baby’s parents outside a clinic in March 2009 and told them that they needed to surrender the infant to avoid deportation. The couple later contacted police, and Tabata-Pereira was arrested after returning the baby to authorities the next day.
Tabata has since filed for divorce.