Saudi Arabian national pleads guilty in Utah date-rape case


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A Saudi Arabian national who had been in Utah to study pleaded guilty Tuesday to raping a woman in his Orem apartment.

Monsour Alshammari, 27, was originally charged in March with first-degree felony rape and second-degree felony obstruction of justice.

On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to the rape charge, and the obstruction charge was dismissed as part of a plea deal, according to 4th District court records.

The rape count is punishable by up to life in prison, but Ashammari was immediately sentenced to a year in jail, with credit given for 89 days served.

He will also be on probation for 36 months, according to court records, but defense attorney Ronald Yengich indicated at sentencing that his client will likely be deported once he is released from jail.

The defendant apologized in court on Tuesday, saying that the assault wasn’t intentional.

The Saudi Arabian national had been in the United States “to study as a student sponsored by the Saudi government scholarship program to study his higher education in the states,” according to the Saudi Arabian Consulate.

On Feb. 25, a woman reported to police that Alshammari had sexually assaulted her while they were at his Orem apartment on a date. When police interviewed Alshammari in March, he said that she never went to his apartment and he never touched her, according to the arrest affidavit.

But officers later went to Alshammari’s apartment and found that details about it matched the description the woman had given them, according to the affidavit.

Police arrested Alshammari on March 26 and booked him into Utah County jail.

He posted bail of $100,000 five days later, according to the affidavit.

Then, on April 17, Alshammari allegedly tried to enter Mexico and was detained by Mexican authorities, who released him to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

He was returned to Utah, where 4th District Judge Derek Pullan ordered Alshammari’s $100,000 bail forfeited.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: http://www.sltrib.com/home/2807743-155/saudi-arabian-national-pleads-guilty-in


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