Man Sexually Assaulted At Vegas Pool Party

Victim attacked after passing out in bathroom

Wet Republic

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Vegas Party Assault

SEPTEMBER 18--A man celebrating his birthday at one of Las Vegas’s popular, booze-soaked hotel pool parties allegedly sexually assaulted another male partier who had passed out in a bathroom of the MGM Grand, according to investigators.

Prosecutors allege that Gustavo Banegas, 22, attacked the victim last month at Wet Republic, which the Strip hotel describes as an “alluring 54,500-square-foot venue” comprised of several pools, banquets, and “tricked-out Bungalows and Party Cabanas.”

On the day of the alleged assault, the Dutch DJ Tiesto performed at the adults-only Wet Republic, where crowds of young swimsuit-clad revelers can number in the thousands.

According to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department report, Banegas (seen in the above mug shot) told cops that he found the passed-out victim “sitting on the toilet with his shorts pulled down to his ankles.” After lifting the man off the toilet and onto the floor, Banegas said, he “saw the unconscious male’s penis and was immediately turned on so he began to masturbate while standing next to the sink.” Banegas, who told cops he was gay, added that he was “so turned on sexually he stepped toward the unconscious male and knelt down next to him” and performed oral sex for “approximately 10 seconds.”

Banegas, who thought the door was locked, said he was “startled” when a security guard entered the bathroom around 6 PM that Sunday. The guard, Adam McLain, told investigators that Banegas--whose swimsuit was at his ankles-- “had a full erection” and was “appearing to begin having anal sex” with the victim. When a detective asked what he would have done if security had not interrupted the August 17 attack, Banegas replied that he “would have sucked on the victim’s penis for a couple minutes more.”

Admitting that he “knew he was wrong for what he did,” Banegas told detectives that he was “turned on” by the victim and “couldn’t help himself.” Banegas said that he was in Las Vegas “with some friends and family” to celebrate his birthday, and had been drinking heavily during the four hours preceding the attack.

The victim, a Utah man vacationing with his wife, told cops that he began drinking at 11 AM. He recalled sitting on the toilet when an unknown male entered and “began making sexual advances towards him.” When the man began stroking his penis, the victim said, he pushed the attacker’s hand away. The victim added that he later passed out and was “unable to recall any other incidents that took place inside the restroom.” The victim subsequently underwent a rape exam at University Medical Center.

A criminal complaint charges Banegas with two counts of sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, and open or gross lewdness. The victim, the complaint notes, was “mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of Defendant’s conduct.”

Banegas was arrested at the MGM Grand and booked into the Clark County jail, where he remains incarcerated in lieu of $60,000 bail. He is scheduled for a September 23 preliminary hearing in Circuit Court.

Banegas’s rap sheet includes a November 2013 arrest for trespassing in Miami, though that misdemeanor count was not subsequently pursued by prosecutors. (5 pages)