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A man related to Saudi Arabian royalty who had been charged in Utah with rape was arrested last Friday at the Mexican border, where he was allegedly trying to leave the United States to avoid prosecution.
Utah authorities, who on Monday obtained a no-bail arrest warrant for 27-year-old Monsour Alshammari, have now started extradition proceedings.
Alshammari, meanwhile, is being held at a federal detention facility in the San Diego area, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
He was charged April 3 in 4th District Court with first-degree felony rape and second-degree felony obstructing justice.
On Feb. 25, a woman reported to the police that Alshammari had allegedly sexually assaulted her while they were at his Orem apartment on a date.
When police interviewed Alshammari in March, he said that she never went to his apartment and he never touched her, according to the arrest affidavit. But officers later went to Alshammari's apartment and found that details about it matched the description the woman had given them, according to the affidavit.
"Monsour intentionally lied about [the woman] coming to his apartment the night of the supposed rape, and she had clearly been to the apartment," the affidavit reads.
On March 26, Alshammari was arrested and booked into Utah County Jail.
At that time, he told police he was sponsored as a student in the U.S. by the Saudi Arabian government, according to the affidavit.
"As a result of the potential vast resources of this foreign government and resulting flight risk of Alshammari, [police] contacted Homeland Security," the affidavit reads.
Alshammari was released March 31 after posting $100,000 cash bail, according to the affidavit. He made an initial court appearance April 6, and a scheduling hearing was set for April 21.
Meanwhile, Homeland Security discovered that Alshammari is related to Saudi Arabian royalty and is a Saudi Arabian national, the affidavit states.
Homeland Security put an alert on Alshammari's immigration file to notify Orem police if he tried to leave the country, the affidavit states.
On April 17, Alshammari tried to enter Mexico and was detained by Mexican authorities, who released him to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
In requesting the no-bail warrant, police noted that Alshammari was willing to leave behind the $100,000 he had posted as bail to avoid prosecution. "If [Alshammari ] is able to leave the country and return to Saudi Arabia, law enforcement would be unable to extradite him back to the United States," according to the affidavit.
On Tuesday, Provo's 4th District Judge Derek Pullan ordered Alshammari's $100,000 bail forfeited after being informed of recent events by a Utah County prosecutor. Another scheduling hearing was set for May 5.
Alshammari's attorney, Ron Yengich, declined to comment, saying he has not talked with his client since his arrest, according to the Associated Press.