Attorney David Chesley's Criminal Defense Blog

Los Angeles Couple Imprisoned In Qatar

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The Huangs, with two of the children

Matthew and Grace Huang, a couple from Los Angeles were arrested in Doha, Qatar after their adoptive daughter, Gloria, died on January 15th. Currently the couple is being charged with murder, they are accused of purposely starving their eight year old daughter to death.

The couple adopted Gloria from Ghana when she was four years of age, their two other adopted children were also adopted from Africa, The children are currently banned from leaving Qatar and are being cared for by their grandmother, who is living with them.

The Huangs moved to Qatar in 2012 in order for Matthew to work as an engineer on a couple of major infrastructure projects related to improvements being made for the 2022 World Cup.

A report by Janice Ophoven, a U.S. pediatric forensic pathologist spoke of their Daughter, Gloria, who was severely malnourished in her early childhood. After her adoption she would periodically refuse food for several days at a time, and after she would gather food from trash cans and strangers. This behavior was traced back to her upbringing and the Huangs were trying to address the issue.

Gloria would also try to leave her home in the middle of the night in search for food. According to Ophoven’s report this was common behavior in children who suffered severe malnutrition before their adoption.

Gloria had been recently treated for an intestinal parasite, and her blood tests showed that a certain type of white blood cell was at a severely low level. This could have been a sign of an underlying bone marrow condition, and a vitamin D deficiency.

In her report Ophoven also wrote that Gloria died during an anorexic episode, and that she had not eaten in as much as four days.

The Qatari doctor who conducted Gloria’s autopsy found that the child’s spine and her hips protruded and concluded that Gloria’s death was due to dehydration and wasting disease.

Supporters in the U.S. are questioning the Qatari Doctor’s diagnosis, claiming that the doctor did not take into account Gloria’s long history of eating disorders and malnourishment, this issues caused lifelong health concerns that her parents were aware of and trying to address.

Qatari police have released an investigative report that question the reason the Huangs would adopt children who did not share their “hereditary traits.” This raised Qatar official’s concerns that the children were part of a human trafficking operation, or that they were “bought” for organ harvesting.

The David House Agency is coordinating legal and publicity efforts for the Huang family. You can visit their website at:

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