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Boy testifies against Saudi in Vegas rape case

By Michelle Rindels

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:32 p.m. HST, Oct 14, 2013

LAS VEGAS » A 14-year-old California boy testified Monday that he was "freaked out" when a Saudi Arabian air force sergeant made sexual advances toward him in a Las Vegas casino on New Year's Eve, but he couldn't figure out how to get away before the man sexually assaulted and raped him on a hotel bathroom floor.

The account came Monday, as Mazen Alotaibi, 24, stands trial in Clark County district court on nine counts, including kidnapping, sexual assault and lewdness with a child. He's being held on more than $1.7 million bail and could face life in prison if convicted.

"It felt like I was trapped in a corner," the boy said about the encounter at Circus Circus, his voice getting so quiet as he recounted details of the incident 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 Associated Press is not naming the boy, who was 13 at the time of the alleged crime, because he is a minor.

The boy said he was killing time while waiting for a friend to join him on a doughnut run when he met Alotaibi. The air force sergeant had bloodshot eyes and smelled of marijuana, the teen said, and he ended up following the man to a room on promises of getting pot for himself.

Shortly after, the boy said, Alotaibi offered to pay him money for sex, and he verbally agreed to the offer in hopes of tricking the man and running away before anything happened.

It was in the hotel room that Alotaibi shut the boy up into the bathroom, offering him $150 and then even more before forcing himself on the teen, according to the boy's account.

The boy said he ran off and reported the rape to hotel security, fearing that he may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease.

Alotaibi's lawyer, Don Chairez, questioned the boy about why he didn't bite, scratch or hit the sergeant during the encounter. He also pointed out that the teen has given different stories to different people -- he told detectives he'd been dragged into the 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 Monday.

Chairez has argued that Alotaibi, who was in the U.S. for military training, was tired and intoxicated after traveling to Las Vegas from Los Angeles and staying up all night drinking cognac at a strip club. He also was too limited in English and too unfamiliar with U.S. law to waive his right to have a lawyer with him while he answered police questions, the lawyer said.

Alotaibi, sitting handcuffed in a police interview room, never asked for a translator and appeared at the beginning of the 70-minute videotaped interview to waive his right to have a lawyer present. He also said he didn't understand why he was there.

Police reported collecting 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.

Chairez has said the DNA evidence was inconclusive and showed no link to Mazen.

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kuewa wrote:
While guilt should be assigned in some way to the adult perpetrator, the victim appears to bear some fault and in some ways should be considered an adult for the purposes of this trial. First, there is the perpetrator who may or may not have been aware of the victim's age and state laws (age of consent in NV is 16 yo; there is no lower limit age of consent in Saudi Arabia since all extramarital sex is technically considered illegal). Apparently, the other soldiers in the same hotel room didn't think that whatever happened was particularly wrong, or perhaps they were too drunk to know(?) Then there is the victim, who has said that he was voluntarily offering sex in exchange for marijuana, then gives varying stories after he apparently gets at least part of what he asked for. And one has to wonder where this boy's parent was while all of this was happening.
on October 15,2013 | 12:43AM
gounreal wrote:
Why do I have a feeling that if the 14 yr. old was a female, you wouldn't be saying she had any culpability? Bottom line, rape is rape... regardless of age. And anyone in the military ought to be conducting themselves in a much more prudent manner. Let's not blame a coerced minor, though... come on!
on October 15,2013 | 03:43AM
allie wrote:
wrong..their is far too much of this kind of rape of young boys and it happens FAR more than what is reported.
on October 15,2013 | 07:35AM
cojef wrote:
The young person character certainly is subject to question since he was negotiating to get some pot. This 13 year old knew all about pot and must have used it it in the past. Also, why is a13 year old doing in a Casino? His testimony is certainly not reliable??
on October 15,2013 | 06:04AM
allie wrote:
don't blame the victim and stop encouraging this kind of behavior! Shame on you!
on October 15,2013 | 07:36AM
DABLACK wrote:
Being a foreigner from a country our country is supporting should tell you how its going to turn out.
on October 15,2013 | 07:26AM
mikethenovice wrote:
What does a 14 year old boy know about rape?
on October 15,2013 | 07:59AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Glad the boy told an adult instead of keeping quiet and mum. That's the way to stop a criminal in his track from doing it again.
on October 15,2013 | 08:02AM
mikethenovice wrote:
If that man goes to jail, they will do bad to him. Many of the inmates are from a abused childhood.
on October 15,2013 | 08:03AM
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