Saudi Princess Cleared of Human Trafficking Charge in California

Sep 20, 2013 4:52pm
AP meshael alayban jef 130711 16x9 608 Saudi Princess Cleared of Human Trafficking Charge in California

Irvine Police Department/AP Photo

A human trafficking case against a Saudi princess living in California was dropped today after prosecutors said they could not find evidence of any wrongdoing.

Lawyers for Meshael Alayban, 42, applauded the decision by Orange County prosecutors to drop the charges in what they say was a “scam” being run by Alayban’s former maid.

Alayban is a wife of Saudi Arabian Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud. She was arrested in July on one count of human trafficking and released on $5 million bond. She had to surrender her passport and wear a GPS tracking device.

Alayban was charged after the maid, a 30-year-old Kenyan woman, alleged that Alayban stole her passport and paid her miniscule wages. Prosecutors said they could not find any evidence of wrongdoing during a hearing in court today, according to the Associated Press.

“The District Attorney made the right call in dismissing this case,” attorney Paul Meyer said in a statement. ” The princess is innocent of human trafficking… The claims were a scam to gain permanent resident status in the United States.”

The maid, whose name has not been released, made the allegations to a stranger on a bus earlier this summer, claiming she worked more than 100 hours a week for less than $220 a month. The maid had signed a contract for 40 hours a week and $1,600 a month.

“No one was overworked or held against her will.  The claims are lies,” Meyer said.

Alayban faced 12 years in prison for the charge.

The district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from ABC News.

 

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