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July 31, 2014

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Judge delays sentencing for Saudi airman convicted in rape of teen

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Defendant Mazen Alotaibi listens to comments by Judge Stefany Miley during the jury selection process for his trial at the Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Oct. 11, 2013

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 Clark County judge today allowed a change in lawyers for the Saudi airman convicted of sexually assaulting a teenager on New Year’s Eve 2012 at a Las Vegas Strip casino.

With the change, District Judge Stefany Miley delayed for 60 days for the airman, Mazen Alotaibi. In October jurors found Alotaibi, 24, guilty of seven of the nine charges against him, including first-degree kidnapping and sexual assault with a minor.

Attorney Don Chairez withdrew as Alotaibi’s attorney and is being replaced by Dominic Gentile and Vincent Savarese III, who are preparing an appeal of the conviction.

Savarese said there may be some substantial issues on appeal but that he was not ready to go into details about what those might be.

Miley set a new sentencing date of March 31.

Prosecutors said on Dec. 31, 2012, Alotaibi cornered a 13-year-old boy in the bathroom of Alotaibi's hotel room at Circus Circus, where the two had sex.

At issue during trial was the boy’s initial version of the incident as told to police.

The boy admitted on the stand that he had lied when he said Alotaibi dragged him into a hotel room. The teen testified he approached Alotaibi about purchasing marijuana and agreed to exchange sex for money. The boy told jurors he thought he could trick Alotaibi and run off with the weed and cash before having to do anything sexual. By the time he figured out he was in over his head, he didn’t know how to escape, the boy said.

Prosecutors had said the boy had nothing to gain from lying about the rape. Telling security about the attack only caused the boy to have to admit to marijuana use, undergo an invasive medical exam and talk about a mortifying experience in front of strangers in a courtroom, Jacqueline Bluth, a chief deputy district attorney, said during trial.

Alotaibi remains jailed in the Clark County Detention Center.

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