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Charges dropped against 4 dentists accused of rape in Las Vegas

Updated October 1, 2018 - 6:31 pm

Prosecutors dropped charges Monday against four California dentists, including three brothers, who defense attorneys said were falsely accused of raping a woman at a Las Vegas Strip hotel.

“After review of the facts of the case, it was clear that the allegations were completely fabricated,” lawyers for the men wrote in a prepared statement before a court appearance. “The evidence confirmed the men’s innocence, and the state has cleared them of all charges.”

None of the dentists, all of whom were already free on their own recognizance, appeared in Las Vegas Justice Court for a hearing that took about 30 seconds, just long enough for a prosecutor to tell Justice of the Peace Eric Goodman the charges were dismissed.

In early August, after the allegations were reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, attorneys for Ali Badkoobehi, 30, Saman Edalat, 39, Sina Edalat, 34, and Poria Edalat, 30, said video evidence contradicted the rape claim.

Badkoobehi’s attorneys Robert Draskovich and Michael Horvath said video showed that the allegations were false and the sex was consensual.

Craig Hendricks, who represents Poria Edalat, said prosecutors were presented exculpatory video evidence that showed “extremely different” circumstances than what was initially reported to authorities.

Jess Marchese, the attorney for Saman Edalat, said his client did not have a sexual encounter with the woman. Gary Guymon, who represents Sina Edalat, pointed out in August that a prosecutor did not object to releasing the men without bond.

The men were arrested in late July after the woman told Wynn Las Vegas security that she was sexually assaulted in a suite while intoxicated.

In a statement that referenced the #MeToo movement, the men thanked their lawyers, family and friends for support during a “horrific ordeal,” which included media reports of the allegations.

“We are so grateful to the justice system for recognizing that we were the victims in this case,” the statement said. “We knew when the facts came out that the vicious allegations would be exposed as lies and our good names would be cleared. At this sensitive moment in our history, we believe that women should be respected and heard and believed. But as this case shows, it is also important to keep a critical eye on those willing to use the movement for their own selfish motives and remember that innocent until proven guilty is one of our country’s bedrock principles.”

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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