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Saudi soldier denies raping 13-year-old boy in Vegas

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 7:48 p.m.

LAS VEGAS — A Saudi Arabia air force sergeant stood in shackles on Wednesday in a Nevada courtroom and pleaded not guilty to abducting and raping a 13-year-old boy at a Las Vegas Strip hotel on New Year's Eve.

Through an Arabic language translator, Mazen Alotaibi, 23, acknowledged that he understood the nine felony charges that could put him in a Nevada prison for the rest of his life.

“But it's not right,” he said through the interpreter.

Clark County District Court Judge Stefany Miley set a May 13 trial date on the charges: first-degree kidnapping, two counts of sexual assault with a minor under 14, four counts of lewdness with a child under 14, sexually-motivated coercion and burglary.

Coercion alleges Alotaibi forced the boy to do something he had a legal right not to do. Burglary in Nevada involves entering a building intending to commit a felony.

Alotaibi's lawyer, Don Chairez, said outside the courtroom that he's recommending to Saudi authorities that Alotaibi remain in custody at the Clark County jail, where he is being held on $1.72 million bail.

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