Servant was well-treated, say lawyers for Saudi princess in US trafficking case
SANTA ANA (REUTERS) - Lawyers for a Saudi princess accused of holding a Kenyan servant a virtual prisoner in her California home portrayed the servant on Monday as so well-treated that she had access to amenities like a spa and pool and went shopping at local malls.
The 42-year-old princess is charged with bringing the woman to the United States in May, confiscating her passport and paying her US$220 (S$280) a month to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week, while essentially holding her captive in a situation Orange County's top prosecutor likened to slavery.
Meshael Alayban, described as a wife of Saudi Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud, was arrested earlier this month at her apartment in suburban Irvine, south-east of Los Angeles, and charged with human trafficking.
Authorities say the case came to light after the Kenyan woman, who is around 30 years old, escaped from the residence and flagged down a bus driver. Officers who went to the home found four Filipino women whose status was unclear, and prosecutors have said that more charges may be filed.