LAS VEGAS – A boy was expected to take the witness stand on Monday after telling prosecutors that he was raped by a Saudi Arabian air force sergeant at a Las Vegas Strip hotel on New Year's Eve.
Jurors heard a prosecutor on Friday describe how the boy, then 13, escaped to an elevator after the attack in a guest room bathroom at the Circus Circus hotel.
Don Chairez, a lawyer for defendant Mazen Alotaibi (MAH'-zen ah-loh-TAH'-bee), 24, has countered that the boy went to the room voluntarily while Alotaibi was intoxicated and tried to get marijuana and money from the men inside.
Chairez said he does not believe any force was used.
Alotaibi has pleaded not guilty to nine felonies, including kidnapping, sexual assault and lewdness with a child. If convicted, he could be given life in prison. He is being held at the Clark County jail.
The sergeant, who was in the U.S. for military training, told police that he met the boy in a hallway at the hotel on Dec. 31. He said the boy wanted marijuana and offered to exchange sex for money.
Nevada state law says children under 16 cannot consent to sex.
Prosecutors and Chairez agree the boy wanted marijuana and willingly accompanied Alotaibi to the hotel room where five other men were lounging on the morning before a New Year's Eve fireworks show on the Strip.
In the room, prosecutor Jacqueline Bluth said, Alotaibi steered the boy into the bathroom and locked the door before groping him and forcing him into oral and anal sex. Bluth said a nurse at a hospital detailed injuries consistent with such an attack.
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.
Chairez also argued that Alotaibi 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.
The boy had been visiting Las Vegas with his divorced father and initially told police he was on the way to meet a friend at a doughnut shop when he was abducted.