Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Hawthorne man convicted of holding wife captive until she signed divorce papers

March 19, 2010 |  6:28 pm

A man was convicted Friday of kidnapping his estranged wife and holding her captive until she signed divorce papers.

A Los Angeles County jury found Mohammad Hanafi, 58, of Hawthorne guilty of kidnapping his wife, Raisa Hanafi, in 2008, and holding her for ransom. The jury also convicted Hanafi for threatening to kill his wife.

Hanafi was not convicted of torturing his wife, though prosecutors had argued that Hanafi gagged, drugged and tortured her when he allegedly forced her to sign over her assets in divorce papers.

Raisa Hanafi was confined for five days before she was able to escape, according to court documents.

The jury also found co-defendant Kisasi Liggins, who helped Mohammad Hanafi in the 2008 crime, guilty of kidnapping for ransom. The jury deadlocked on whether to convict Mohammad Hanafi for grand theft, and the count was dismissed.

Both Mohammad Hanafi and Liggins face a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. Sentencing is scheduled for July.

-- My-Thuan Tran