Couple Cleared of Murder

Thursday, December 11, 2014 Written by 
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A near two-year legal battle is finally over for a Los Angeles couple, imprisoned in Qatari.  Matthew and Grace Huang were falsely charged in the killing of their eight year-old adopted daughter.

 

Matthew and Grace attended Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena on Dec. 7.  "We're so excited to be home," Matthew said. 

 

The Asian American couple was welcomed back to church with a standing ovation, and reunited with their two African-born adopted sons, Emanuel and Josiah.

 

It has been a harrowing ordeal for the Huangs, whose daughter Gloria fell ill and died in Qatar, where Matthew worked for an American company as an engineer.   The girl, born in Africa, was malnourished when the Huangs adopted her.  She suffered from eating disorders all her life, and refused to eat during her final days.

 

 "Gloria was on the floor, foaming at the mouth, so I took her immediately to the emergency room at the hospital," Matthew told CBS News. "They did about 40 minutes of CPR and then they told me that Gloria had passed away."

 

The Huangs were accused of starving Gloria to death and using their children for human trafficking.  Prosecutors were suspicious because mixed-race families in Qatar are rare. 

 

"They said we adopted our children to either harvest their organs or to do medical tests on them," Matthew said. "I mean, this is an outrageous charge against us-- who's a loving family. But the Qatari authorities just didn't understand multi-ethnic adoption."

 

The Huangs were thrown into jail one day after the girl died, where they stayed for a year before the situation began to change.  Their boys were sent to an orphanage. 

 

The family hired a forensic pathologist who concluded that the Qataris never performed a proper autopsy. "They even got her height and weight wrong on the autopsy," Grace said.

 

The couple, who is just beginning to piece their life back together, say the prayers of their church family and other loved ones kept them going. They added that the U.S. government could have done more to help, but did not.  However, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. was "deeply concerned" and plead with the Qatari government several times for their release.

 

As their appeal dragged on, Matthew lost his job. They were banned from traveling and rarely left their home.  He is suing his employer in Qatar, saying they never adequately represented him.

 

"We had no clue that race would be a factor when we moved to Qatar," Matthew said. "We did not have a clue about the racism in Qatar. We did not have a clue about the judicial system and how poorly it's run."

 

 

 

 

 

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