A Saudi airman was found guilty Wednesday of raping a 13-year-old boy New Year's Eve at a hotel in Las Vegas. Mazen Alotaibi will be sentenced in December. The Associated Press via ABC News shared the details on Oct. 23.
Alotaibi was found guilty of sexual assault with a minor and lewdness with a child. The Saudi airman faces a minimum of 35 years after the jury's verdict. He did not testify in his defense. The incident happened New Year's Eve at the Circus Circus hotel.
A videotaped interview with Alotaibi was shown to the jury, where he admitted the incident occurred. He said that the boy offered the Saudi airman sex in exchange for money or marijuana and Alotaibi took him up on the offer. The boy's name has not been disclosed due to his age.
Alotaibi's lawyer says that the Saudi airman was intoxicated after drinking at a strip club all night, so he didn't realize he was doing anything wrong. He shared after the verdict that not having Mazen Alotaibi testify was a mistake, and he indicates he will appeal the verdict.
The lawyer says he thinks the evidence left the impression with the jury that the boy was forced to have sex, though the defense says that is now how things played out. The lawyer, Don Chairez, also faults himself for not pushing harder to have the jury consider felony charge of statutory sexual seduction, which would carry a much lighter sentence.
The prosecutor is pleased with the outcome, and says they did not believe the Saudi airman was drunk or that the sex was consensual. Nevada law states that a child must be 16 to give consent. Alotaibi was charged with nine felonies, and he was found guilty of six felonies and one misdemeanor.
The boy involved testified that he and another boy had approached Alotaibi and other men because they spelled marijuana on them and wanted some. The boy says that he and Alotaibi went outside the hotel, smoked marijuana, and that the Saudi airman then asked the boy for sex.
Surveillance video from the elevator caught them heading back to the hotel room, and subsequently the boy running out 30 minutes later. The boy also claims that when they were back in the hotel room Alotaibi blocked the door, offered him money, and forced him to have sex. One of the men traveling with Alotaibi testified that he had knocked on the locked bathroom door several times during the encounter, but they didn't open the door.
The Saudi airman rejected a plea deal prior to the trial. Mazen Alotaibi will be sentenced on Dec. 16.