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Saudi air force sergeant guilty of raping 13-year-old boy

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 8:51 p.m.

LAS VEGAS — A jury found a Saudi Arabia air force sergeant guilty on Wednesday of raping a 13-year-old boy at a Las Vegas Strip hotel New Year's Eve.

Defendant Mazen Alotaibi remained seated, clenching his jaw but showing no other outward emotion as the verdict was read in Nevada state court.

The 24-year-old Royal Saudi Air Force mechanic, who had been in the United States for military training, will have a minimum mandatory 35 years in state prison at sentencing Dec. 16.

Clark County District Court Judge Stefany Miley could sentence him to prison for life.

The jury of nine women and three men found Alotaibi guilty of sexual assault with a minor for forcing sex acts on the boy in the bathroom of a sixth-floor room at the Circus Circus hotel, and lewdness with a child for fondling and kissing the boy on the way to the room.

Alotaibi decided not to testify in his defense.

Jurors instead saw a 70-minute videotaped police interview in which Alotaibi told detectives the boy offered sex for marijuana or money. After several minutes of denials, Alotaibi acknowledged to police that he engaged in sex with the boy.

The Associated Press is withholding the boy's name because of his age and the nature of the case.

Nevada state law says a child under 16 can't give consent. But Alotaibi's lawyer, Don Chairez, said Alotaibi was too intoxicated after drinking all night at a strip club to know if he was doing anything wrong.

Chairez spoke with jurors after the verdict and said outside court that he will appeal.

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