A member of a Saudi prince’s traveling entourage has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping a 26-year-old woman in New York’s Plaza Hotel two years ago.
Mustapha Ouanes, an Algerian construction executive, argued the sex was consensual when he invited the woman and a friend to his hotel room in January of 2010 after a night of bar hopping, promising them a lavish breakfast.
‘In his bowler hat and scarf, he appeared to be relatively harmless,’ a prosecutor said of the 61-year-old during the two-week trial in February, according to the New York Times.
Both women testified of eating, drinking and smoking hashish with him before passing out, one of them on Ouanes’ bed.
When she woke up, he was raping her they said.
‘She woke up to this defendant on top of her kissing her mouth. She was unable to get him off, instead she passed back out again,’ Assistant District Attorney Samuel David said in his opening arguments, according to the Times.
‘When the woman, then 26, woke up a second time, he was having sex with her,’ he said.
The woman fought to free herself and eventually broke a glass which she intended to use as a weapon to defend herself.
Her friend, who allegedly woke to find her leggings had been pulled down, called hotel security.
Mr David told the court that when the police arrived, they found the two women huddled in the bathroom ‘so frantic and devastated,’ they could hardly speak.
‘I couldn’t figure out how to be happy again,’ the victim said in court prior to his sentence. ‘I couldn’t feel comfortable in my own skin … I thought I would never love again.’
Ouanes said the women offered sex for money and invented the rape allegations after he declined to pay.
He also argued a heart condition to spare him of his sentence which was as much as 25 years on his two most serious charges.
‘The heart thing … really!’ the victim said in court in February according to the New York Daily News.
‘[My dad] had a heart condition that is very similar to yours, but he doesn’t ask for special treatment. He waits in line at the VA hospital. I don’t know what makes you think you’re so special,’ she said.
A married man of 40 years, he spent half of his time assisting Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd, the son of the late King Fahd, who had been residing in the Plaza for several months at the time, according to the Times.
Ouanes’ wife appeared in court during the trial in January.
He plans to appeal his conviction according to one of his attorneys who had asked for the minimum five-year sentence due to his client’s ailing health.
A citizen of Canada and Algeria, who was residing in Saudi Arabia prior to his arrest, he will be deported after serving his time, according to Justice Daniel McCullough.
Ouanes’ defence team argued the prison sentence could cost U.S. tax payers approximately $100,000.