Judge Delays Arraignment for Saudi Princess Accused of Human Trafficking

Mike O'Brien

A California judge has delayed the arraignment of a Saudi princess charged with human trafficking after she failed to show up for the original hearing set for today (Monday).

While the judge was annoyed that Meshael Alayban failed to appear, he still pushed back the arraignment to September 20.

Alayban's lawyers say she has complied with all court orders and will appear at her arraignment, although they did not say where she is.

She was arrested July 9 after a Kenyan woman claimed the princess hired her last year, took her passport, forced her to work excessive hours and didn't allow her to leave.

Alayban is charged with one count of human trafficking and faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted. She is currently free on $5 million bail.

News of the case emerged on the same day that the FBI announced the 105 teenagers - many of them children from broken homes — were rescued over the weekend in a sex-trafficking crackdown that swept more than 70 cities.

The youngest victim was 13 years old, the agency said.

The sting resulted in the arrest of 159 "pimps" from San Francisco to Miami who were involved in the commercial exploitation of both adults and children, said Ronald Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division.

It was the FBI’s largest action to date focusing on the recovery of sexually exploited children, and took law enforcement agencies to streets, motels, casinos and social media platforms, Hosko said. He said he hoped it would focus attention on sex trafficking, "this threat that robs us of our children."

IDGA’s Counter Narco-Terrorism and Drug Interdiction event in September features Human Trafficking Focus Day. For more information, go to www.CounterTerrorismEvent.com