SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Prosecutors Friday dismissed a human-trafficking charge against a Saudi princess.
The charge filed by the Orange County District Attorney’s office was leveled against 42-year-old Meshael Alayban by a domestic worker.
Alayban, who is married to the nephew of the King of Saudi Arabia, was arrested in July at her Irvine vacation condominium after being accused of overworking a 30-year-old Kenyan maid and holding her against her will.
Alayban’s attorney Paul Meyer praised the announcement by District Attorney Tony Rackaukas and claimed the allegations were an attempt by the woman to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
“This has been a nightmare for this family. This is an exceptional family in Saudi Arabia. It’s a revered family. I can tell you that the dismissal today answers the prayers of 26 million people,” Meyer said.
The defense said all of Alayban’s five live-in employees lived in the “lap of luxury” as they were chauffeured by drivers and enjoyed the condo complex’s pool and gym court.
The royal family also paid for the education of its employee’s children and relatives.
“The District Attorney did the kind of investigation that we would expect and which they’re known for,” Meyer said. “In this case, he uncovered the truth.”
“The question is whether or not we jumped too quick to file these charges. And I would say no. The allegations were strong, we had reasons to believe they were true,” Tony Rackauckas said.
Alayban faced 12 years in prison had she been convicted.
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