Saudi Arabian air force sergeant Mazen Alotaibi appears in court Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, in Las Vegas. Alotaibi will serve at least 35 years in Nevada state prison after being found guilty of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy at a Las Vegas Strip hotel. Image Credit: AP

Las Vegas: A Saudi Arabian air force sergeant who arrived in Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve two years ago may never get to leave Nevada after being sentenced on Wednesday to a minimum of 35 years in state prison for kidnapping and raping a 13-year-old boy at a Las Vegas Strip hotel.

Mazen Al Otaibi, 25, stared at the courtroom floor as the boy’s mother sobbed that her son’s life was ruined and Clark County District Court Judge Stefany Miley imposed the mandatory sentence for sexual assault with a minor under the age of 14.

Al Otaibi didn’t testify at trial in October 2013, and he didn’t speak on Wednesday. With time already served, he will be 57 before he is first eligible for parole.

“This idea that you can come in here and ... do the things you want and then you get to leave, and ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ is wrong,” prosecutor Jacqueline Bluth said. “That’s all about show. It’s not real life.”

“It should really be, ‘What happens here could make you stay here a long time,’” she said. “If you come here and you commit crimes and you rape our kids, you’re going to pay for it.”

Defence attorney Dominic Gentile said he intends to appeal Al Otaibi’s conviction and sentence.

The judge spared the former air force mechanic additional sentences of life with the possibility of parole for his convictions on kidnapping and lewdness with a child under 14.

The judge ran sentences concurrently, including one to 10 years for burglary resulting from a jury finding that Al Otaibi entered a building with intent to commit a crime. Combined, all charges could have added another 66 years to Al Otaibi’s minimum prison time.

“You want to talk about a life sentence?” Bluth asked. She asked Miley to string sentences back to back to ensure Al Otaibi would never get out. “What about (the boy’s) life?”

Bluth used the boy’s nickname. The boy is now 15 and lives with his family in California.

Gentile objected and the judge stopped Bluth from referring to a doctor’s presentencing psychosexual report that said when Al Otaibi entered the United States from Saudi Arabia, he began engaging in what the prosecutor called “reckless” encounters with prostitutes. The report was sealed by the judge as a confidential medical record.

Al Otaibi came to the US for military training at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.

Bluth acknowledged the boy made a bad decision to seek marijuana from Al Otaibi as they passed in a Circus Circus hotel hallway shortly after dawn December 31, 2012.

The boy testified at trial that he was lured by the smell of pot smoke.

Bluth said Wednesday that Al Otaibi was lured by Las Vegas’ marketing as Sin City, and recklessly capitalised on the boy’s decision.

Al Otaibi’s trial lawyer, Don Chairez, later maintained that the boy traded sex for the promise of marijuana. But Nevada state law says a child under 16 can’t consent to sex.

The jury found Al Otaibi guilty of forcing sex on the boy.

Gentile lost a bid to get the judge to reconsider Al Otaibi’s conviction on grounds that Al Otaibi was too drunk to know he was committing a crime.

Gentile conferred after sentencing in a hallway with a representative of the Saudi Royal Consulate General who declined to speak with a reporter.

The defense attorney said he intends to appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court for a new trial, arguing that Al Otaibi was badly represented by Chairez.

Reached by telephone, Chairez defended his work as “excellent.” He said he also discussed appeal strategy with Gentile.

“For Mr Al Otaibi’s sake, I hope this is one of the grounds that will be successful and the court grants him a new trial,” Chairez said.

Gentile, a prominent Nevada criminal defense and constitutional lawyer and adjunct law school professor, said he’ll also argue that world events made it impossible for Al Otaibi to get a fair trial.

“Mazen Al Otaibi is an Arab Muslim,” Gentile said. “I don’t believe he can get a fair trial in America today because of overwhelming bias and prejudice.”