Saudi Princess Released on Bail After Human Trafficking Charge in Calif.
(IRVINE, Calif.) -- The Saudi princess arrested for alleged human trafficking has been released from jail after posting a $5 million bail, according to the Orange County District Attorney, but must remain in California, surrender her passport and wear a GPS tracking device.
Meshael Alayban is a wife of Saudi Arabian Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud. She was arrested Wednesday at her condominium in Irvine, Calif., and charged with one felony count of human trafficking, according to the Irvine Police Department.
She was released Thursday after appearing at the Orange County Superior Court but will not be arraigned until July 29, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Alayban has reportedly denied the charges, through her lawyer.
Human trafficking probe at Virginia home of Saudi diplomat.
Alayban, 42, allegedly held a 30-year-old Kenyan woman against her will, forcing her to work 112 hours a week and paying her only $220 a month, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said. The woman, whose name has not been released, was originally contracted to work for Alayban for 40 hours a week and receive $1,600 a month, according to prosecutors. She allegedly first went to work for Alayban in Saudi Arabia before coming with Alayban to the United States in May.
When the woman arrived in Saudi Arabia from Kenya, Alayban allegedly seized her passport and travel documents. She gave them back to her so the woman could enter the United States but then immediately seized them again, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office. Alayban allegedly told the victim to lie to the U.S. Embassy about her hours of employment.
The victim left Alayban's residence Tuesday and, according to the Irvine Police Department, a local woman helped her contact cops after she noticed her on a bus in a distressed state.
Irvine Attorney Steve Baric, who's representing the alleged victim, said his client is "hoping to see that justice is done. This is a highly offensive crime. In light of this country's historical issues with indentured servitude, we can't stand for this kind of activity."
"The victim is obviously happy to be free, she is happy to be out of that environment," he added. "I think she is a little bit overwhelmed at this point."
When the police investigated Alayban's home after receiving a call from the victim, they said they found four additional women living there. The women have been removed from the home and police say they are investigating the circumstances under which they were allegedly living there, reportedly along with Alayban's three children.
Alayban faces a maximum sentence of 12 years if convicted, the District Attorney's Office said in a statement.
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