HUNTINGTON — A trial for a woman charged earlier this year after falsely accusing an Egyptian man of attempting to kidnap her child at the Huntington Mall has been reset for next year.
Santana Renee Adams, 24, of Milton, the accuser who is facing one misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting an emergency, was set to go to trial this week, but the trial has been moved to 9 a.m. Jan. 3, according to Cabell County Magistrate Court officials.
Her attorney, Kathryn Cisco-Sturgell, said she does not believe her client is racist, stating it was not the victim’s ethnicity that made her react the way she did, but instead her perception of potential harm to her daughter.
Adams was pushed into the spotlight April 1 after she told police she was shopping inside a clothing store at the mall when a man of Middle Eastern descent “attempted to grab her 5-year-old daughter by the hair and abduct her from the store.”
She said she then pulled a handgun from her pocket and pointed it at the man before he fled, according to a criminal complaint filed in Cabell County Magistrate Court.
However, as prosecutors reviewed the evidence, they found Adams’ follow-up statements to be inconsistent, and police said security video showed a different version of events.
After Adams’ allegedly false report was filed April 1, Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan, 54, of Alexandria, Egypt, was charged with felony attempted abduction by a person the same day, but the charge was dismissed days later.
Zayan, who was working in West Virginia at the time as a contracted engineer, previously told reporters he never interacted with Adams or her daughter and wouldn’t recognize them if he saw them.
He returned to Egypt after his charges were dropped and he was released from jail.
Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.