Criminal Justice

Did Saudi princess hold US worker captive, or is this a wage dispute? Judge sets $5M bail

A Saudi princess has been arrested in California and charged with human trafficking, after a Kenyan woman flagged down a bus and, with the help of a female passenger, told authorities she was being held captive and forced to put in long hours for little pay as a domestic worker in a luxury apartment building in Irvine.

Meshael Alayban, 42, is scheduled for arraignment Thursday in Orange County. On Wednesday, the district attorney sought either no bail or $20 million bail, calling her a flight risk, and the judge set bond at $5 million and ordered GPS monitoring if she is released, according to the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

Alayban’s lawyer, Paul Meyer, called the case a civil wage dispute, pointing out that authorities have not alleged any physical abuse.

A post on the Navel Gazing page of the OC Weekly provides additional details.

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