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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

Court date set for rape suspect

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

(Photo)
Naji Mohsen Monasser
BENTON - Language barriers may complicate court proceedings for Naji Mohsen Monasser, 35, a resident alien from Yemen facing felony forcible rape, forcible sodomy and kidnapping charges.

Monasser was in associate circuit court Tuesday to be arraigned on the charges stemming from an incident at the Ramada Inn in Miner reported Aug. 21.

In a Aug. 23 press release, Miner Police Department officials stated Monasser was positively identified by the victim. The woman said that while working as a housekeeper in the room next to where Monasser was staying, she was grabbed and pulled into his room where she was sexually assaulted and held against her will.

Asked by Judge David Mann, associate circuit judge, if he had brought an attorney with him, Monasser clearly answered, "Yes" and pointed to a man seated in the audience. Upon approaching the bench, the man explained he was not Monasser's attorney and that Monasser does not speak or understand English. Following the hearing, he confirmed he is a friend of Monasser.

Yemen is a small country located between the Red Sea and Saudi Arabia on the Arabian Peninsula.

Judge Mann advised Monasser is facing two life sentences plus 15 years if convicted of the charges and recommended Monasser have an attorney present for his next appearance set for Sept. 19. He is currently being held in the Mississippi County Detention Center.