LAS VEGAS – A Saudi Arabian air force sergeant faces a minimum mandatory 35 years in state prison after a jury found him guilty of raping a 13-year-old boy at a Las Vegas Strip hotel last New Year's Eve.
Defendant Mazen Alotaibi (MAH'-zen ah-loh-TAH'-bee) remained seated, clenching his jaw but showing no outward emotion as the verdict was read in Nevada state court Wednesday.
Sentencing for the 24-year-old Royal Saudi Air Force mechanic, who had been in the U.S.
for military training, is set for Dec. 16.
Clark County District Court Judge Stefany Miley could sentence him to prison for life.
The jury of nine women and three men found Alotaibi guilty of sexual assault with a minor for forcing oral and anal sex on the boy in the bathroom of a sixth-floor room at the Circus Circus hotel, and lewdness with a child for fondling and kissing the boy on the way to the room.
Alotaibi decided not to testify in his defense.
Jurors instead saw a 70-minute videotaped police interview in which Alotaibi told detectives the boy offered sex for marijuana or money. After several minutes of denials, Alotaibi acknowledged to police that he engaged in sex with the boy.
The Associated Press is withholding the boy's name because of his age and the nature of the case.
Nevada state law says a child under 16 can't give consent. But Alotaibi's lawyer, Don Chairez, said Alotaibi was too intoxicated after drinking all night at a strip club to know if he was doing anything wrong.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel landed in Kabul, Afghanistan Saturday in an unannounced visit to thank troops for their service and commend the Afghan National Security Forces for the progress made this past year.
Hagel visit comes at a time when Afghan President Hamid Karzai refuses to sign a security deal with the U.S. until after the country's election next year. Karzai has tentatively endorsed the deal, but refuses to sign it after it was approved by a council of tribal elders known as the Loya Jirga.