Saudi Arabia seeks native convicted of sex assault
CENTENNIAL, Colorado (AP) — A Saudi Arabian official asked a judge Thursday to let a Saudi man return to his home country to serve probation and enter a treatment program for sexually assaulting his housekeeper and treating her as a virtual slave.
A prosecutor questioned whether Saudi Arabia would give Homaidan al-Turki effective supervision and whether he was even a candidate for treatment since he has refused to participate in a sex-offender program in state prison.
The issue was unresolved after a daylong hearing. The hearing will resume Oct. 31.
Al-Turki is serving a minimum eight-year sentence but could remain in prison indefinitely if he continues to refuse sex offender treatment.
Fahed al-Rawaf, a consular official from the Saudi embassy in Washington, told Arapahoe County District Judge J. Mark Hannen that al-Turki could get appropriate treatment at home that would include family participation and Islamic and cultural education not available to him in Colorado.
Al-Rawaf said Saudi officials would honor any conditions of probation imposed by Colorado.
Prosecutor Ann Tomsic said al-Rawaf offered no specifics about the treatment al-Turki would get in Saudi Arabia and questioned its effectiveness. She repeatedly referred to al-Turki’s refusal to participate in the Colorado program.
Al-Turki’s lawyers said the Colorado program violated al-Turki’s religion by requiring him to look at photos that included women in bathing suits or undergarments as part of the evaluation process.
Tomsic countered that al-Turki’s crimes also violated his religion.
Tomsic also said prison records showed al-Turki has been accused of asking another inmate to kill a third inmate. One of al-Turki’s lawyers, Hal Haddon, said the allegation was unfounded and was made by an inmate who is insane.
“It’s more character assassination,” Haddon said after the hearing.
Al-Turki was convicted in 2006 of unlawful sexual contact by use of force, theft and extortion. He maintains his innocence and says the charges stem from anti-Muslim sentiment after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Authorities say that al-Turki and his wife brought an Indonesian housekeeper to Colorado to care for their five children and to cook and clean.
Former Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements denied al-Turki’s request to serve out his sentence in Saudi Arabia in March, shortly before Clements was fatally shot when answering his front door.
Al-Turki’s attorneys accuse officials of leaking word that the “main working theory” in the slaying investigation is that Clements was killed in retaliation for denying al-Turki’s transfer request.
Clements’ death was not mentioned in Thursday’s hearing.
Al-Turki appeared in court Thursday but didn’t speak. He appeared in a red prison uniform with short silver hair and a long dark beard streaked with gray.
His brother, Saudi physician Ahmad al-Turki, made an emotional appeal seeking his brother’s return, saying his imprisonment has been an emotional and financial burden on the family.
“The whole family is really hurt by this,” Ahmad al-Turki said.