January 5, 2013

Saudi serviceman faces U.S. sex assault charge

The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS - A sergeant in Saudi Arabia's air force was jailed in Las Vegas on charges that he pulled a boy into a hotel room and sexually assaulted him the morning of Sin City's big New Year's Eve fireworks extravaganza.

Mazen Alotaibi, 23, faces charges including kidnapping, sexual assault with a minor and felony coercion that could get him decades in state prison, according to police and charging documents obtained Friday.

The boy, who is younger than 14, told police the man forced him into a room at the Circus Circus hotel and raped him. Police arrested Alotaibi after being called to the hotel before 9:30 a.m. Dec. 31.

"There was a kidnapping and sexual assault with force," Las Vegas police Lt. Dan McGrath said.

"The victim said he was forced into the room and sexually assaulted. We have a strong case based on the evidence."

The boy, who lives out of state, was staying at the hotel with his family, McGrath said. He was taken to a hospital for medical treatment and evidence collection and released later to family members. His name was not made public.

McGrath said Alotaibi produced a Saudi Arabian military identification and said he was stationed at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland near San Antonio, Texas. U.S. federal authorities and Saudi military officials were notified, the police lieutenant said.

Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland spokesman Brent Boller said records showed Alotaibi is stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss. Boller said he could not immediately verify if Alotaibi had been at Lackland, but noted that international military students attend a Defense Language Institute on the base to improve their English-language skills.

Alotaibi was being held without bail at the Clark County jail pending an evidence hearing Jan. 17.

 

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