Saudi Princess Appears in Court in Slavery Case

The Saudi princess was ordered to surrender her two passports.

A Saudi princess accused of keeping domestic servants against their wills in her Irvine condominium posted bail Thursday afternoon and is being monitored by a GPS tracking device, the Orange County District Attorney said.

Wearing a navy blue jail jumpsuit and her hair tied up into a bun, Meshael Alayban, 42, appeared in a Santa Ana courtroom Thursday to face one felony county of human trafficking.

A Kenyan worker escaped the condo and flagged down help after being held for months, prosecutors said. Authorities found four more women from the Philippines when they searched Alayban's home.

A protective order was issued to keep Alayban from contacting the Kenyan woman, who prosecutors said agreed to be a maid for Alayban for two years in order to care for her ill 8-year-old son.

"Her contract was torn up, her visa was confiscated, and she was put to work seven days a week, 16 hours a day," said Tony Rackauckas, the Orange County District Attorney.

The contract indicated the Kenyan worker would be paid $1,600 a month, but ended up being paid $220 a month, authorities said.

"She was promised one thing and she was lied to, manipulated and intimidated by this defendant," said the alleged victim's attorney, Steve Baric. "All her rights as a freedom-loving individual and citizen of the world were violated."

All five women were in good health and showed no indications of physical abuse, officials said.

Alayban's husband was inside the condominium at the time of the arrest, but he was not charged.

Jail records listed Alayban's occupation as "princess." She is one of six wives to a grandson of the king of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

Alayban came to the U.S. with her three children on a vacation visa and has been in Irvine since at least May, officials said.

She was held on $5 million bail and ordered to surrender her two passports.

After posting bond, the 42-year-old mother of three was escorted out of jail through a private judges' garage and driven away in a black BMW, hiding under a blanket and wearing a GPS tracking device.

Alayban is barred from leaving Orange County without the court's permission, the DA said.

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