Saudi national Mazen Alotaibi, 24, is being tried in Clark County district court in Las Vegas NV on nine counts, including kidnapping, sexual assault and lewdness with a child. The charges stem from an incident that occurred at the Circus Circus resort, for which the Saudi Arabian air force sergeant is being held on more than $1.7 million in bail. Alotaibi possibly faces a life sentence, if convicted for the crime. In his native Saudi Arabia, Alotaibi would face execution by beheading under the country’s harsh Islamic laws.
Testifying on the stand on October 13, the 14-year-old California boy said that he was “freaked out” by Alotaibi’s perverted advances on New Years’s Eve in 2012. The boy was 13 years old at the time of the encounter with Alotaibi. "It felt like I was trapped in a corner," said the boy on the stand. His voice grew so quiet in recounting the horror that attorneys repeatedly told him to speak up. "I was freaked out and I wanted to leave, but I didn't know what to do."
The boy victim testified that he was expecting to join a friend to buy doughnuts when he met Alotaibi. The teen said that Alotaibi had bloodshot eyes and smelled of marijuana. Having been invited by Alotaibi on the promise of obtaining marijuana, the teen followed the Saudi Air Force sergeant to a hotel room. It was there, the teenager testified, that Alotaibi offered money for homosexual acts. The teen said he verbally agreed to the offer in hopes of tricking Alotaibi and then run away before anything happened.
However, Alotaibi allegedly shut the boy into the bathroom in the hotel room and then offered him $150. Alotaibi then forced himself on the teenager, according to the testimony, and raped him on the bathroom floor. The boy then escaped and reported the rape to hotel security, fearing a sexually transmitted disease.
Alotaibi is represented by attorney Don Chairez. Chairez questioned the witness, asking him why he did not bite, scratch or hit the defendant during the encounter. The defense counsel said that the victim has given various accounts of the incident. He first told detectives he had been dragged into the hotel room, but now says he went willingly. "I made up part of story so I wouldn't get in trouble with my parents" over the marijuana, he explained to the court on October 13.
Chairez has argued that Alotaibi, who was in the U.S. for military training, was too limited in English and too unfamiliar with U.S. law to waive his right to have a lawyer while he answered police questions. Alotaibi did not ask for a translator and appeared at the beginning of the 70-minute videotaped interrogation to waive his right to have a lawyer present. He also said he did not understand why he was there.
Police collected DNA evidence from a used condom and a soiled towel found in the bathroom. The prosecutor said DNA swabbed from the boy's neck, ear, chest and other body parts was consistent with two people, including Alotaibi. Alotaibi’s counsel said the DNA evidence was inconclusive and showed no link to Alotaibi.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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