Saudi sergeant denies raping boy in Las Vegas

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A Saudi Air Force sergeant accused of raping a 13-year old boy at a Las Vegas hotel on New Year’s Eve has pleaded not guilty.

During a hearing in Las Vegas, 23-year old Mazen Alotaibi said he understood the nine charges against him but waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the case, Associated Press said.

Clark County District Court Judge Stefany Miley set a May 13 trial date and added two counts of lewdness with a minor in addition to charges of first degree kidnapping, burglary and sexually motivated coercion.

Alotaibi is accused of forcing a boy into a hotel room before raping him. The mechanic acknowledged during police questioning that he had sexual intercourse with the boy.

His defence attorney has previously claimed that the boy wanted marijuana and refused to leave the hotel room despite repeated requests by Alotaibi and as many as four other Saudi men. 

If convicted, the most serious charges could put Alotaibi in prison for life.

Alotaibi's lawyer, Don Chairez told reporters Wednesday that he does not believe the boys claims that he was forced into the room and raped. 

Chairez claimed the Alotaibi was the victim in a situation where he was severely drunk, did not understand English and had not slept for many hours.

“A lot of this is going to hinge on the credibility of the boy," the defence attorney said. “We're going to expose this boy as a liar.”

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