TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Saudi air force sergeant to be tried in sexual assault on boy in Las Vegas hotel

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 9:58 p.m.
 

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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. People who knew Virginia TV station shooter Flanagan recall his quick temper
  2. Clinton: Women ‘expect’ extremism from terrorists, not GOP candidates
  3. Compatibility of 1st-responder radios in doubt
  4. Obama marks Hurricane Katrina anniversary in New Orleans visit
  5. Planned Parenthood alleges ‘smear’ campaign in letter to top lawmakers
  6. Bison gores worker on California’s Catalina Island
  7. Ex-crime lab chief: Illegal’s fatal shot in San Francisco likely accidental
  8. 13 states spared EPA regulation of waterways
  9. ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ series premiere sets cable record
  10. Virginia reporter, cameraman killed on air; gunman also dies
  11. Dow, S&P, Nasdaq soar 4% despite China worries, but volatility expected to endure