- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah judge has ordered that a Saudi Arabian man facing rape charges be jailed without bail because authorities believe he’s trying to flee the country.

A judge issued the warrant Monday for 27-year-old Monsour Alshammari after a request from police in Orem.

Alshammari is charged with rape and obstructing justice stemming from allegations that he raped a woman in February at his Orem apartment.

He has not yet entered a plea to those charges.

After he was arrested on March 26 in Orem, U.S. Homeland Security discovered Alshammari is a citizen of Saudi Arabia and has connections to the country’s royal family, police said in court documents.

Orem police said that because the U.S. has no extradition treaty with Saudi Arabia, they considered him a flight risk and put an alert on his immigration file.

Alshammari posted $100,000 cash bail on March 31 and left Utah County Jail.

On April 17, police in Utah said they were notified that Alshammari had been stopped while trying to enter Mexico.

He was being held Tuesday at a facility in San Diego until he could be extradited to Utah. Orem police Lt. Craig Martinez said that process could take several weeks.

Utah police said in court documents that they want Alshammari held without bail in Utah because they believe his international connections and willingness to walk away from $100,000 bail mean he’ll flee the country to avoid prosecution.

His attorney Ron Yengich declined to comment Tuesday, saying he had not talked with his client since the arrest. When asked about Alshammari’s connections to the Saudi Arabian royal family, Yengich said he would not speak about any relationship or connections due to attorney client privilege.

Police did not offer details about the royal connection, besides saying that federal officials reported Alshammari is related to royalty and has family connections to the Saudi Arabian government.

Andrew Muñoz, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said he could not confirm or deny any of Alshammari’s connections.

The Saudi Arabia consulate in Los Angeles directed questions to the country’s embassy in Washington, D.C. Messages left with the embassy were not returned Tuesday.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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