LOS ANGELES: The Saudi Arabian prince accused of sexually assaulting a maid and abusing up to four others in Los Angeles last month can be named as the son of the Middle Eastern country’s late King Abdullah.
Court documents name him as Majed bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz one of the late monarch’s 35 known children, Daily Mail Online reported.
His full identity was disclosed as he escaped felony charges for sex assault today because Los Angeles District Attorney ruled there was insufficient evidence against him.
Al-Saud, 29, was arrested late last month after neighbors spotted a crying, bleeding woman attempting to scale the walls of his rented Beverly Hills compound.
Taken into custody by Los Angeles Police, he was charged with a slew of sexual offenses, including one of ‘forced oral copulation’ and another of battery.
The prince was due in court today to face an initial hearing but sources at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office say the case has been turned over to the office of city attorney Mike Feur.
Feur’s office said a case against Al Saud is currently being put together and a new court date will be scheduled for later this year.
The involvement of Feur’s office means the charges against the prince have been downgraded from a felony which could have left him facing up to four years in jail to a misdemeanor.
If convicted, Prince Majed could be sentenced to up to a year in prison, as well as handed a fine of $3,000 a larger than normal amount because the woman involved is thought to have been an employee.
He is, however, part of the Saudi royal family, whose collective personal wealth is estimated at $21 billion.
Meanwhile, lawyers acting for another three women, who claim to have been abused by Al Saud, have filed a civil complaint at Los Angeles Superior Court.
The filing documents, which give the prince’s full name of Majed bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, accuse the royal of assault and battery, false imprisonment and sexual assault.
The name makes clear his lineage bin is son of, meaning that he is son of Abdullah, who was son of Abdulaziz Al Saud. Abdulaziz was the first king of Saudi Arabia, and his son Abdullah was king until his death in January of this year.
Over a period of three days, the suit continues, the women were subjected to ‘extreme and outrageous conduct’ that caused them to suffer ‘humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress.’
A further note describes the defendant’s acts as ‘intentional, outrageous, despicable, oppressive and fraudulent, and done with ill will and intention to injure the plaintiffs and cause them mental anguish, anxiety and distress.’
During Al Saud’s time in Los Angeles, he is thought to have spent much of his time enjoying the local nightlife and holding lavish parties at his rented $37 million mansion.
The prince and his entourage are also believed to have frequented a number of hot spots, including Déjà Vu Showgirls, a strip club located in downtown Los Angeles.
Speaking shortly after Al Saud’s arrest, neighbor Eric Stiskin claimed the prince had fled the country in a bid to escape justice.
‘I am sure he has taken off in his private jet by now,’ he added.
‘I don’t think he even needs a passport to get out of here.’
Al Saud’s private jet was later spotted in Vancouver by sources who told a British newspaper that they had seen the plane on the tarmac although the court hearing today heard that he had not left Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reported.
As a result, his $300,000 bail bond and the ongoing refusal of the LAPD to reveal whether Al Saud’s passport was demanded as a condition of his release has drawn anger of women’s groups who say it sends a message that ‘impunity can be bought’.
Speaking to Daily Mail Online, Suad Abu-Dayyeh of Equality Now, a group that fights for the rights of girls and women around the world, said no one should be above the law.
‘If alleged perpetrators of sexual violence use their wealth to escape prosecution, it sends a message that impunity can be bought,’ said Abu-Dayyeh.
‘Millions of women and girls around the world need full access to justice and nobody should be above the law.
‘Where situations exist where alleged perpetrators can use their privilege to evade responsibility for crimes they are accused of, victims are utterly failed.
‘We cannot end sexual violence around the world without effective legal systems that ensure justice for all.
‘With Saudi Arabia, we are also concerned with its male guardianship system which helps perpetuate violence and discrimination against women and girls. It needs to be ended urgently.’
Should the claims against Al Saud be true, they are likely to prove a major embarrassment for the country’s recently enthroned King Salman, 79.
The half-brother of the late King Abdullah, Salman is Majed’s uncle and the father of an estimated 13 children of his own.
Married three times, Salman’s best known son is 30-year-old Mohammed bin Salman Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince, second deputy prime minister and minister of defense.
The world’s youngest defense minister, his tenure, which began in January, has so far proved controversial not least in his handling of Operation Decisive Storm.
A military campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen, it has raised eyebrows among courtiers who question the need for Saudi Arabia to involve itself in the affairs of its southern neighbor.
He has also been accused by a Lebanese newspaper of causing a stampede among pilgrims visiting Mecca to take part in the Hajj a disaster that claimed the lives of 2,164 people.
According to Ad-Diyah, Prince Mohammed’s convoy of 200 soldiers and 150 attendants forced some of the pilgrims to walk directly into the crowds heading into Mecca, thus triggering a stampede.
He is further accused of fleeing the scene with his entourage, with the Saudi authorities later imposing a media blackout on reporting his presence at the scene.
Many of Prince Majed’s 34 brothers and sisters have also had colorful lives – not least the eldest, Prince Khalid, 64.
Married to his cousin Noura bint Abdallah bin Muhammad Al Saud Al Kabir, Khalid spent much of his life as a commander of Saudi Arabia’s National Guard before being dismissed in 1992 following disagreements with his father’s advisors.
Since then, he has focused on his business commitments and, with his sons, owns the Saudi Arabian Insurance Company and is honorary president of Jeddah football club Al-Ahli.
Brother Prince Turki, 43, served as governor of Riyadh Province until King Abdullah’s death and was, in his younger years, a pilot in the Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force.
Another sibling is Adila bint Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the daughter of Abdullah and a Lebanese woman named Aida Fustuq – and one of the few Saudi princesses to have a public role.
Unusually, she has been allowed to speak out in public against domestic violence and is a known supporter of women’s rights, including the right to drive.
A younger sister, 22-year-old Princess Sanab, was married off aged 18 to the now 25-year-old Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, a son of Bahrain’s King Hamad.
But another four of Abdullah’s daughters, Sahar, Maha, Hala and Jawaher, have been less fortunate and have been held under house arrest inside a Riyadh palace for the last 13 years.
Born to the late royal’s ex-wife Princess Alanoud Al Fayez, the princesses’ plight became the subject of a number of media reports in March 2014 after their mother staged a protest outside the Saudi embassy in London in a bid to secure their release.
She claimed the quartet had been imprisoned for advocating women’s rights and said their continued detention was about ‘psychological warfare and breaking them down’.
A video made by Sahar, 42, and Jawaher, 38, pleading for help from the international community failed to elicit a response from Abdullah, although it was later claimed the furious king denied the pair food and clean water for 25 days as a punishment.
The current scandal involving Prince Majed and the ongoing detention of his sisters are just the latest in a series of controversies involving Saudi royals.
One of the most infamous came in 2009 when Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz was found guilty of the sexually motivated murder of his Sudanese manservant Bandar Abdulaziz.
The prince, 36, subjected Bandar to a prolonged campaign of violence and sexual abuse before beating him to death in a suite at London’s Landmark Hotel.
Sentenced to life imprisonment by the Old Bailey court in the British capital, he was deported to Saudi Arabia in 2013 under the terms of a prisoner exchange deal and is currently incarcerated in a Saudi jail.
Another incident, in 2004, saw Prince Nayef bin Fawwaz indicted in the US and France on drug trafficking charges, after planning to use his Boeing 727 to smuggle cocaine into Europe.
Prince Nayef, who remains in hiding, allegedly later claimed that smuggling drugs is ‘my God-given right’.