Pilot in sexual abuse case could avoid jail - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Pilot in sexual abuse case could avoid jail

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Posted: Saturday, September 6, 2003 4:11 am | Updated: 1:39 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

A Middle Eastern military pilot who admitted Friday to touching the breast of a 14-year-old Chandler girl agreed to a plea deal in which he could avoid jail. Saeed Ali Al-Mazrooei, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse, which carries a punishment range of probation to 7 1/2 years in prison.

The prosecutor and an attorney representing the girl said her parents are unhappy with the deal.

"I would say at this point they are a bit disappointed in this plea but they are resigned to it," Michael Vaughn, the girl's attorney, said in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Deputy Maricopa County attorney Suzanne Wilson said the parents believed the plea deal was too lenient. There are no agreements about the sentence, so Judge James Keppel will have the option of sentencing the United Arab Emirates air force lieutenant anywhere within the range.

Counts of child molestation and kidnapping will be dismissed at sentencing. Through his attorney, Barry Mitchell, Al-Mazrooei said he "knowingly touched the breast" of the girl. The girl was selling candy with a friend when she went to Al-Mazrooei's residence March 5 in the 1900 block of West Thompson Way in Chandler, Wilson said.

Al-Mazrooei let her use his telephone but then wouldn't let her leave, Wilson said. "(The girl) felt she was being held against her will," Wilson said.

Mitchell said his client disputes that he held her against her will. Al-Mazrooei is to be sentenced Sept. 29.

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