Saudi air force sergeant to be tried in sexual assault on boy in Las Vegas hotel
LAS VEGAS — A Saudi Arabia air force sergeant was ordered on Thursday to stand trial for the sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy on New Year's Eve in a Las Vegas Strip hotel room.
A defense attorney for 23-year-old Mazen Alotaibi and a Saudi consulate legal attache huddled with prosecutors for two hours before Alotaibi waived his right to a preliminary hearing of evidence against him.
The move meant the boy and a police detective who prosecutors said were ready to testify did not have to take the stand.
Defense attorney Don Chairez conceded the testimony probably would have met what he termed the minimal standard to show a felony had been committed, allowing the judge to move the case to state court.
“A preliminary hearing is basically a rubber stamp process,” Chairez said.
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Bill Kephart asked Alotaibi if he understood what was happening. Standing with an Arabic translator, Alotaibi responded “yes” in English.
Chairez and Saudi Arabia consulate legal affairs official Abdulqader Mohammed Al Hazza said outside the courtroom that evidence was still being collected. Negotiations were under way to resolve the case, Chairez said.
“Both governments are looking for the truth,” Al Hazza said. “We just need time to bring the evidence together to show the truth.”
Chairez said he hopes tests on blood samples drawn after Alotaibi's arrest will show the aircraft mechanic was too drunk at the time to give up his constitutional right to have a lawyer present during questioning.
Chairez said police did not provide Alotaibi with a translator during questioning, even though Alotaibi told detectives several times during his 70-minute interview that he didn't understand what was happening.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- People who knew Virginia TV station shooter Flanagan recall his quick temper
- Clinton: Women ‘expect’ extremism from terrorists, not GOP candidates
- Compatibility of 1st-responder radios in doubt
- Obama marks Hurricane Katrina anniversary in New Orleans visit
- Planned Parenthood alleges ‘smear’ campaign in letter to top lawmakers
- Bison gores worker on California’s Catalina Island
- Ex-crime lab chief: Illegal’s fatal shot in San Francisco likely accidental
- 13 states spared EPA regulation of waterways
- ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ series premiere sets cable record
- Virginia reporter, cameraman killed on air; gunman also dies
- Dow, S&P, Nasdaq soar 4% despite China worries, but volatility expected to endure