Meshael Alayban, a Saudi Arabian princess, has been accused of “slavery” after one of her maids broke free from her Orange County, Calif. home and said the Saudi woman held her against her will.
The victim, a 30-year-old Kenyan woman, slipped out of the home, flagged down a bus, and later notified law enforcement officials about her predicament. According to the victim, Alayban held her and four other maids from the Philippines, stole their passports, and forced them to work for very little wages.
Alayban first hired the Kenyan native in March 2012 to work at her home in Saudi Arabia, Engen said. They had signed a two-year contract guaranteeing the worker would be paid $1,600 a month.
In May 2013, Alayban and her family moved to Irvine with the victim, who cooked, cleaned, and washed laundry for eight people.
Authorities say the victim was working 16 hours a day for $220 a month – a fraction of what they agreed upon.
According to law enforcement, Alayban will likely be the first person prosecuted in Orange County under California’s Proposition 35 law, which increased the penalty for human trafficking. Alayban is awaiting arraignment in an Orange County jail. She is scheduled to appear in court today.