Saudi prince faces sex assault charge in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A Saudi prince has been arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly trying to force a woman to perform oral sex on him at a Beverly Hills mansion.

Officer Drake Madison, of the Los Angeles police department, told AFP that Prince Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud was arrested in early afternoon on Wednesday (Sept 23) after police were called to the gated compound.

He said the 28-year-old prince was arrested on suspicion of forced oral copulation of an adult and spent the night in jail before posting a US$300,000 (S$427,000) bail on Thursday.

Witnesses reported seeing a bleeding woman scream for help as she tried to scale the wall of the property, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The prince, who was also detained for false imprisonment, battery and criminal threats, is due to appear in court on Oct 19.

If convicted, he faces up to eight years in prison and a US$10,000 fine.

The State Department said there was no information indicating that the prince enjoys diplomatic immunity.

Many members of the Gulf monarchies have multi-million dollar mansions in Los Angeles and it is not the first time one has had a run-in with authorities.

Last week, a member of Qatar's ruling family - Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al Thani - was questioned by Beverly Hills police after a video surfaced showing a yellow Ferrari speeding through stop signs and past pedestrians.

Residents called police who determined that Al Thani, a well known figure in international racing circles, owned the car. He denied that he was driving the vehicle and claimed diplomatic immunity before leaving the country.

In 2013, a Saudi princess was also accused in Los Angeles of enslaving a Kenyan woman as a housemaid, but the charges against Meshael Alayban were eventually dropped.