Tabata's wife pleads guilty

Updated: July 21, 2010, 11:55 PM ET
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- A woman accused of faking a pregnancy and stealing a baby to fool her husband, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata, into thinking he was the father has pleaded guilty.

Amalia Tabata-Pereira, 44, pleaded guilty in Hillsborough Circuit Court on Wednesday on charges of kidnapping, interference with custody and impersonating a public officer.

In March 2009, Tabata-Pereira posed as an immigration official and threatened a migrant worker and her boyfriend with deportation if they didn't give their baby girl to Pereira, prosecutors said.

The mother complied, then contacted police six hours later to report a kidnapping.

Tabata-Pereira will be sentenced Sept. 30.

A Pirates spokesman says Tabata has long avoided contact with his estranged wife and he continues to work with his lawyers to complete their pending divorce.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press