A judge issued a warrant for a man charged with rape in Utah after Homeland Security determined him to be a flight risk. Saudi Arabian native Monsour Alshammari was arrested earlier this year in Orem, Utah. He is facing a first-degree felony for rape and a second-degree felony for obstruction of justice for an incident that happened in February 2015.
A horrible first date
On February 25th a woman came to police claiming that Alshammari had raped her at his Orem, Utah apartment. The night of the offense, they were coworkers on a first date. After finding a local coffee shop and liquor store closed, they went back to Alshammari’s apartment. While there, Alshammari tried to offer the 20 year old victim drugs. When she refused, Alshammari held her down against her will and even amidst her protests, proceeded to rape her. Although Alshammari denied the claims, evidence along with testimony from the victim led police to arrest Alshammari and file the felony charges on March 26th.
A Royal Flight Risk
Five days later on March 31st Alshammari posted his $100,000 bail and fled Utah. Not only did Alshammari leave Utah, he was on his way to the Mexico border. A Utah judge issued a warrant for Alshammari after his departure when Homeland Security realized that he was a flight risk. The reason he was considered a flight risk was because Alshammari is a Saudi Arabian native with ties to their Royal Family. The U.S. has no treaty for extradition with Saudi Arabia, so if Alshammari was released and made it back to Saudi Arabia it would be impossible to extricate him back to the United States. Fortunately, Mexican authorities were able to detain Alshammari at the Mexico border on Friday before he left the United States. He is now being held at a San Diego detention center. He should be transported back to Utah in the next few weeks to await his trail in jail without the opportunity to post bail again.
Reasons bail is denied or revoked
According to the Media Guide to the Utah State Court, “The right to bail is not absolute. Probationers, parolees, and repeat felons, who commit a crime while released on another case, may be denied bail. Capital felony defendants may be denied bail if there is substantial evidence that the defendant committed the offense. Risk to the community and flight risk are factors judges may consider in denying bail.” Alshammari had originally been given the option for bail, which he had paid in full before leaving Utah. Had the authorities previously known, or pieced together the fact that he was a foreign student with the backing of a non-compliant county, he would not have been given the option for bail in the first place. Since Alshammari is not a U.S. citizen, his chances of fleeing to his home country are high. Likewise, considering that had no problem with walking away from the 100 grand that was posted was a red flag as well. That communicated to authorities that he had no intentions of staying for his prosecution, therefore his bail was revoked.
The long wait to sentencing or trial
In cases like Alshammari’s, it is understandable why he might be seen as a flight risk. His violent crime and the fact that he was a citizen of another country with friends in high places made it very unlikely that he was going to stick around for a trial. Unfortunately, there are often times when defendants are seen as a flight risk when they believe they are not. This can be frustrating for those who are left to wait in jail for weeks to months when they could try to continue on with their normal lives as long as possible. This is why it is important to have a good criminal defense attorney to plead your case before the judge so you can await your sentencing or trial in the comforts of your own home. Don’t be left serving more time than necessary for your crime. Contact a criminal defense attorney today.