Mazen Alotaibi, a 23-year-old sergeant in the Saudi Arabian air force, was jailed in Las Vegas following charges that he sexually assaulted a minor as New Year’s celebrations were beginning on December 31. Alotaibi now faces charges including kidnapping, sexual assault of a minor and felony coercion. Since the boy victim is younger than 14 years of age, Alotaibi may face decades of imprisonment. In his native country, married men who are convicted of homosexual behaviour can face death by stoning while unmarried men face lashings and imprisonment. Alotaibi is also charged with burglary.
The unnamed young victim, who is a resident of another state, was a guest at the hotel along with family members, according to police. He was given medical treatment at a hospital where evidence was collected, and later released. Alotaibi is currently being held without bail at the Clark County jail and will face an evidentiary hearing on January 17.
According to police reports, Alotaibi forced the boy into a room at the Circus Circus hotel in Sin City and raped him. Police arrested Alotaibi at 9:30 AM at the hotel. "There was a kidnapping and sexual assault with force," Lt. Dan McGrath said. The Las Vegas police officer added, "The victim said he was forced into the room and sexually assaulted. We have a strong case based on the evidence." The assault was first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which cited a police report that the victim is 13 years old.
Police say that Alotaibi provided his Saudi Arabian military I.D. and that the alleged perpetrator was stationed at the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas. U.S. and Saudi Arabian officials have been notified. Alotaibi’s defense counsel says that his client will plead not guilty.
Alotaibi may belong to a prominent Saudi family. He was in the company of several other Saudis at the hotel where the alleged assault took place. hree other men were in the room smoking marijuana, the report said.
Alotaibi later told police he offered the boy money for sex, and when he refused, he raped the boy, the report said. The Saudi sergeant told law officers that he had been drinking cognac for hours and was intoxicated at the time of the alleged assault. While he first denied the boy's allegations, the Saudi then admitted he “put his penis in his mouth for just a couple of seconds” and his penis “accidentally” went into the boy’s rectum.
According to reports, the alleged rape took place on the sixth floor of a 15-storey hotel tower of Circus Circus. The popular hotel has a total of 3,767 guest rooms in three towers and five three-storey motor lodge-style buildings called Circus Circus Manor.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.