A Columbus man was convicted today of coming to Wakeman to bring a 15-year-old girl back to the city to be a prostitute.
The four-day bench trial in Huron County Common Pleas Court in the case against Yathurn Furqan, 57, of Columbus, ended about 3 p.m. after closing arguments. The defendant took the stand for the majority of the day. Judge Jim Conway announced his verdict more than an hour after Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler and defense attorney Tom Nicholson argued their case.
Conway said various testimony was "persuasive beyond a reasonable doubt" that Furqan knowingly drove from Columbus to Huron County to take the victim back to Columbus "for further sexual activity" as a prostitute. Witnesses testified the girl convinced the defendant to drive to Wakeman on July 17 under false pretenses to collect $1,200 the girl said she had made as a prostitute.
Furqan was convicted of compelling prostitution, punishable by one to five years in prison. He will be sentenced at 1 p.m. July 21 after a presentence investigation by probation officers.
Check Wednesday's Reflector for the full story.