He's accused of trying to kidnap a young girl in Munising, and on Monday, the continuing case of 42-year-old Mohamed El Fechtali was heard in Alger County Circuit Court.
El Fechtali was not in court. He was arrested in November of 2011 with the charge attempted kidnapping and enticing a child for immoral purposes.
On Monday, Judge William Carmody heard arguments from both sides on the intent El Fechtali had in approaching the girl. El Fechtali claims that he was asking the 12-year-old girl for directions and then offered her a ride home.
Police say El Fechtali confessed to the attempted kidnapping during an interview. El Fechtali was allowed to return to Canada after a judge threw out that confession. However, the state Court of Appeals reversed it, sending the case back to Alger County Circuit Court. The defense disagrees and wants the charges dismissed.
"The defendant asked the child to get in the car," said prosecutor Karen Bahrman. "That was an offer to put the child in the position to be sparred away in the vehicle."
"There is nothing that connects his actions, his words, his inactions to any attempt," said defense attorney Kathryn Denholm.
El Fechtali was not required to be in court on Monday. Judge William Carmody will issue a written opinion on the case this Friday.