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September 22, 2014

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Trial date set in rape case involving Saudi air force sergeant

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Leila Navidi

Mazen Alotaibi appears in Las Vegas Justice Court for a hearing at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Thursday, January 17, 2013. Alotaibi is charged with burglary, first degree kidnapping, two counts of sexual assault with a minor and sexually motivated coercion.

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 | 12:41 p.m.

Mazen Alotaibi Hearing

Mazen Alotaibi appears in Las Vegas Justice Court for a hearing at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Thursday, January 17, 2013. Alotaibi is charged with burglary, first degree kidnapping, two counts of sexual assault with a minor and sexually motivated coercion. Launch slideshow »

A May 13 trial date has been set for Mazen Alotaibi, the Saudi air force sergeant charged with raping a teenage boy on New Year’s Eve in a Las Vegas Strip hotel.

Alotaibi, 23, appeared Wednesday in Clark County District Court for his felony arraignment and furiously shook his head from side to side while he pleaded not guilty. A court interpreter translated the proceedings to Alotaibi in his native Arabic.

He has been charged with sexual assault of a minor under 14 years of age, first-degree kidnapping and coercion, among others, according to an amended criminal complaint.

Outside the courtroom Wednesday, Alotaibi's attorney, Don Chairez, revealed several arguments the defense intended to make during trial, including an assertion that the victim — a 13-year-old boy visiting Las Vegas — performed a "trick roll" on Alotaibi on the morning in question.

Chairez said the victim wanted marijuana and money from Alotaibi's group and, in the process, "took advantage of my client." The defense denies Alotaibi used force during the alleged sexual assault, Chairez said.

"If there were four other men in the room, why would my client sexually assault him?" Chairez said. "Why would he force him to do anything? It just doesn't make sense."

A Metro Police arrest report, however, paints a different picture of the morning hours of Dec. 31 when Alotaibi allegedly made contact with the victim in a hallway of Circus Circus.

According to the report:

Alotaibi forced the boy into a hotel room, where he sexually assaulted him, the Metro report states. The boy eventually escaped and contacted hotel security.

The boy then was transported to University Medical Center, where a nurse performing an examination of him found signs of trauma consistent with a sexual assault.

Alotaibi admitted to police that he performed two sex acts on the boy, although he called one incident an accident.

Chairez said he planned to file a motion to prevent police interviews of Alotaibi from being used in court. Chairez contends Alotaibi had been drinking Hennessy, a cognac, all night at a strip club with friends and was too intoxicated to consent to give up his constitutional right to remain silent when police questioned him.

Chief Deputy District Attorneys Mary Kay Holthus and James Sweetin are prosecuting the case. They did not comment after Wednesday's arraignment.

Alotaibi had been temporarily stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and was vacationing in Las Vegas on New Year's Eve. He remains in custody at the Clark County Detention Center on $1.72 million bail.

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  1. "Alotaibi admitted to police that he performed two sex acts on the boy, although he called one incident an accident."

    How do you "accidentally" have sex? Is he gonna claim that he tripped?