By Courtney Trenwith
Homaidan Al Turki, whose conviction for using his Indonesian maid as a sex slave in Colorado has caused tension between Saudi & US authorities, has refused sex offender’s treatment arguing it is against his Muslim beliefs
A Saudi man convicted of using his Indonesian maid as a sex slave in the US has been denied bail after refusing to attend a mandatory sex offenders’ course, arguing his Muslim beliefs do not allow him to look at pictures of scantily-clad women, according to local reports.
Homaidan Al Turki, 45, has been in a Colorado jail since 2006. He was initially sentenced to 28 years’ before it was downgraded to eight years on appeal but his parole has been repeatedly denied because he refuses to attend the sex offenders’ course.
He has continued to deny the charges, claiming his conviction was a conspiracy, particularly following the September 11 attacks.
The case has strained relations between Saudi Arabia and the US, with thousands of Saudis, including members of the media, calling for Al Turki’s release and urging the Riyadh government to use its political clout to bring him home.
A Twitter hashtag in Arabic featuring Al Turki's name was used more than 900,000 times last week, according to International Business Times.
Al Turki, who was on an academic scholarship, was arrested after he, his wife, their five children and the maid moved from Riyadh to the US in 2004 and were arrested by US immigration over visa issues.
The maid told authorities she had been kept as a virtual prisoner for four years and abused by the family, including being sexually abused in a cellar by Al Turki.
He was convicted after a trial lasting two and a half weeks.
Despite being eligible for release, Al Turki told prison officials in 2013 the sex offender treatment program "conflicts with [his] Islamic faith", according to a letter by the then executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, Tom Clements.
His lawyers told the court the program "would require [him] to look at photos that included women in bathing suits or undergarments as part of the evaluation process", AP reported.
A Colorado Department of Corrections spokesperson denied the program would offend his religion. The spokesperson reportedly said the program did not include looking at scantily clad women but involved open discussion and admission of his offenses, which Al Turki has denied.