A Saudi princess was allowed to go free after prosecutors dropped human trafficking charges against her. Meshael Alayban, 42, was charged in July after a domestic servant claimed she was held against her will.
The 30-year-old servant claimed that she wasn’t allowed to leave Alayban’s condo in Irvine, California. An extensive investigation into the Saudi princess’s activities followed.
After the investigation, CNN reports that authorities determined the servant was allowed to leave if she wanted and that Alayban wasn’t guilty of human trafficking.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told reporters on Friday, “The evidence indicates very strongly at this point that the [domestic servant] was not actually the victim of human trafficking, and so this case had to be dismissed.”
Alayban is one of the wives of Saudi Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud. She was arrested in July after the servant, who came to the US from Kenya, left the apartment and flagged down a bus.
The Saudi princess was arrested after her maid told police Alayban took her passport and forced her to work long hours for little pay. Yahoo! News reports that the Saudi Consulate posted her $5 million bail and Alayban was allowed to leave for home.
She smiled in court on Friday as her attorney, Paul Meyer, told her, “You are free.” Another attorney in the case, Jennifer Keller, thanked the judge on behalf of Alayban’s family, as well as the nation of Saudi Arabia. Keller called the district attorney “a man of integrity” for his actions in the case.
After the case was dismissed, the district attorney added that the maid likely wasn’t lying. Instead, he stated, “I think there was a lot of misunderstanding, misapprehension, that sort of thing.” Rackauckas added, “So it was quite dramatic when she waves the bus down and was complaining of being a victim of human trafficking. So we went forward.”
There was no word on whether the Saudi princess will stay in Southern California after her human trafficking case was dismissed.