CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4)- A Saudi Arabian man convicted of sexually assaulting his Indonesian maid in Aurora, and keeping her as a sex slave, was re-sentenced Friday afternoon.
More than 100 supporters of Homaidan Al-Turki packed the courthouse in the Arapahoe County Justice Center as a judge reduced his sentence to eight years to life for holding his maid as a sex slave.
“Thank God for what we got and hopefully he’ll be out soon,” said Al-Turki supporter Mohammed Salama.
Previously, Al-Turki was serving 28 years to life. Al-Turki was convicted of 12 counts of sexual assault against his maid, paying her nearly slave wages and making her sleep on the floor of his Aurora home.
The re-sentencing was a result of a Colorado Supreme Court ruling in another case.
Al-Turki has been behind bars in Limon for nearly five years. District Judge J. Mark Hannen cited al-Turki’s good behavior in prison in reducing the original sentence of 28 years to life.
Al-Turki has maintained his innocence and insists he is a victim of anti-Muslim sentiment. State and federal prosecutors insist he is guilty.
The prosecutor in the Al-Turki case said it sent a strong message about human slavery.
“I’m very concerned that the judge’s reduction of sentence somehow dilutes the message,” said Prosecutor Ann Tomsic.
Under state law, any reduction in the minimum sentence would leave life as the maximum.
The case was so important that the Colorado Attorney General John Suthers was asked to visit Saudi leaders, including the king to explain the verdict and sentence.
Representatives from the Saudi Embassy were in court for the re-sentencing, as well as the defendant’s brother and a handful of lawyers.
“The sentence reflects if you do especially well in prison, that sort of conduct will be noticed and that’s a good thing,” said Al-Turki attorney Hal Haddon.
Al-Turki will have to undergo sex offender treatment before he can be released.
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