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      El Fechtali found guilty in attempted kidnapping case

      UPDATE: 10:00 p.m.

      A jury has found Mohamed El Fechtali guilty on both counts. He was convicted of attempted kidnapping/child enticement and accosting a child for immoral purposes.

      His bond was revoked following the verdict. A sentencing date has not been set.


      The Canadian man accused of attempted kidnapping in Alger County took the stand today in his own defense.

      42 year old Mohamed El Fechtali was accused in November of 2011 of trying to abduct a 12 year old girl in Munising.

      At first, he denied he talked to someone on the road at all.

      Then, he confessed to attempted kidnapping.

      But in court today, he told the jury he did in fact speak to a young girl, but he had no intention of kidnapping her.

      "My first concern was direction. I'm not interested in friendship, I'm interested to know my way. I don't know where am I. I want to go home, as soon as possible," said El Fechtali.

      In November 2011, Mohamed El Fechtali said he was on his way home to Montreal, Canada, from Saskatchewan, after having a job interview there.

      He said he decided to go through the United States, which brought him through Munising.

      But he said he got turned around, and needed directions.

      He encountered a 12 year old girl off of M-28, and conversed with her.

      "He clearly hoped to induce her, to persuade her to have sex with him,and that fits pretty much everything on the list of options. It's immoral, it includes intercourse, it could be grossly indecent depending on where it happens, it's depraved, it's delinquint, it fits on all counts," said Prosecutor Karen Bahrman.

      According to prosecutors, El Fechtali tried to get the girl into his car, with sexual intentions.

      El Fechtali said that's not so.

      Yet he confessed to the attempted kidnapping charge during an interrogation.

      El Fechtali returned to Canada after a judge threw out the confession.

      However, the state court of appeals reversed it, sending the case back to Alger County Circuit Court.

      "Now, during the course of your interview with Chief Nelson, you made comments to the effect that you were prolonging the conversation with (victim) in hopes to eventually engage in sex with her. Do you recall saying that?" said Defense Attorney Kathryn Denholm.

      "Yes," said El Fechtali.

      "Alright. And, is that true?" said Denholm.

      "No," said El Fechtali.

      "Alright, then why did you make those statements?" said Denholm.

      "Unfortunately I was a coward. I was very scared," said El Fechtali.

      In court today, El Fechtali denied he ever attempted to kidnap the girl, stating he falsely confessed because he was afraid he would be hurt if he did not.

      "In the video, the lights went out when you were alone in the interview room," said Denholm.

      "Yes," said El Fechtali.

      "What went through your mind when that happened?" said Denholm.

      "I thought, I though Chief Nelson was preparing stuff to beat me and to make me suffer,' said El Fechtali.

      "Well, why did you think he would do that?' said Denholm.

      "Oh, because I have ideas in my mind. It never happened to me. I've never been in jail," said El Fechtali.

      The Defense and Prosecution have rested their cases.

      The jury has started deliberations.

      We will update this story as the information becomes available.