Belonging to royalty definitely has its perks, especially when it comes to getting away with keeping slaves in America. Saudi princess Meshael Alayban, 42, was accused of human trafficking at her condominium in Irvine, California. The victim, a Kenyan maid, claims that she was forced to work 16-hour days, seven days a week, for only $220 a month.. Her contract guaranteed her $1,600 a month for eight-hour work days, five days a week, California officials said. The Kenyan woman also accused Alayban of holding her captive by keeping her passport and personal documents.
Alayban is one of the wives of Saudi Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud. She was faced with a felony charge of up to 12 years in prison and $5 million bail, but Judge Gerald G. Johnston has dropped all charges because prosecutors were unable to verify the allegations. That's it? This princess is free? One of her attorneys, Paul S. Meyer, stated that the worker had made up the claims to gain legal status in the U.S. Unfortunately, there is simply not enough information regarding the condition of the Kenyan woman to prove that she was, in fact, working as a slave. Even if there was more information, it is highly unlikely that the plaintiff would have won against a deep-pocketed defendant like Alayban.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, authorities said the case came to light after the Kenyan woman, who is about 30 years old, escaped from the residence and flagged down a bus driver. She had fled the Irvine home carrying a suitcase and a U.S. State Department pamphlet on human trafficking. This shows that, at the very least, the woman had done her research regarding her situation at Alayban's home.
After the dismissal, Orange County district attorney Tony Rackauckas made a statement at a press conference:
"I don't think she was lying to us. I think there was a lot of misunderstanding, misapprehension, that sort of thing," he said. "So it was quite dramatic when she waved the bus down and was complaining of being a victim of human trafficking. So we went forward. At the time it did appear that the evidence corroborated what she was saying, but as we looked deeper into it, it just didn't."
The lawyer for the plaintiff, Rackauckas, claims the worker wasn't lying and that she believes she was a victim. If one believes to be a victim, there is usually a reason to the belief. Alayban's attorney, Meyer, said the plaintiff was lying in an attempt to gain U.S. citizenship. So which is it?
It's strongly evident that the case was dismissed because of the powerful position the Saudi family holds within its oligarchy structure. The most devastating aspect of Alayban's release is the possibility of her obtaining more servants, along with the unnamed plaintiff going back to a life most likely in the lower economic bracket of America.