Saudi air force officer faces rape charge in US
Las Vegas, January 19, 2013
A Saudi Air Force sergeant in the United States for training has been arrested on child sexual assault charges over accusations he raped a 13-year-old boy in a Las Vegas hotel, and bail was set on Friday at just over $1.2 million, authorities said.
Mazen Alotaibi is accused of raping the boy on New Year's Eve at the Circus Circus hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, where both Alotaibi and the boy were guests, according to a criminal complaint.
Police said that Alotaibi, 23, had been visiting Las Vegas while temporarily stationed at Lackland Air Force base in Texas.
The man's defense lawyer said his client had been in Las Vegas with a group of Saudi military friends ahead of the impending end of his US training, and had spent the hours before the incident drinking.
"He was two weeks from graduating. He came to Las Vegas to celebrate. It was New Year's Eve," the attorney, Don Chairez, told Reuters, complaining that Alotaibi was intoxicated when he was interrogated by police and that he admitted he may have had sexual contact with the boy only under aggressive questioning.
"There is no evidence my client dragged this kid to the hotel room," Chairez said, adding that the boy had approached the Saudi group looking to buy marijuana. "They repeatedly tried to get rid of him."
A court clerk said that bail was set for Alotaibi at more than $1.2 million on Friday on charges including child sexual assault and coercion.
Las Vegas media reported that the judge ordered that Alotaibi surrender his passport and remain in the United States if he posts bail. He could face life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges, his lawyer said.-Reuters
More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories
- Many trapped after Manhattan building blast
- Cameron pushes for travel bans on Russian MPs
- Indian coastguards join Malaysia jet search
- Confusion as search for lost jet spreads
- Military denies lost plane's flight to Malacca
- Investors monitoring Pimco after internal strife
- N Korea tanker ‘leaves Libya rebel port carrying oil’
- Malaysia plane incident not terror related: Interpol
- Crimea closes air space to commercial flights
- Missing Malaysian plane last seen At Malacca Strait
- Stolen passport holder on missing plane is Iranian
- China deploys 10 satellites to search for Malaysia jet
- Libya says halts tanker outside port; rebels deny it
- Libya orders military force to 'liberate' ports
- Big bananas: Chiquita, Fyffes merge
- Radar sweeps, dozens of aircraft, but no sign of plane
- N Korea tanker loads oil at Libya rebel port
- Gold drops as US growth optimism weighs
- Merkel raps Putin; Russia tightens grip on Crimea
- World 'at sea' over missing Malaysian jetliner
- Passports requiring probe were on Malaysia flight
- 40 killed in Yemen as Houthi fighters near capital
- Vietnam finds object in sea; search on
- $5bn poll spend to boost India economy
- Libya authorises use of force against Korean tanker
- Ukraine PM says he will go to US to discuss crisis
- Syrian journalist killed covering fighting
- Malaysian jet may have turned back before vanishing
- No sign of missing plane; Malaysia probes false passports
- Two Europeans not on board 'missing' Malaysian jet