A German national accused of falsely claiming she was sexually assaulted and tortured by a Saudi sheik's son in a plot to extort at least $15 million from his father was charged today, along with two Irvine-based attorneys, in a felony complaint filed in Los Angeles.
Leyla Ors, 33, and her lawyers Joseph Gerard Cavallo and Emanuel Karl Hudson, both 58, are all charged with one count each of attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, conspiracy to receive a bribe and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Ors is additionally charged with one count of offering to receive a bribe by a witness.
Ors told police in March that she had been raped and tortured by Thamer Albalwi, the 23-year-old son of Sheikh Monsur Albalwi, one of the wealthiest men in Saudi Arabia, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Based on her allegations, a physical exam and visible injuries, the junior Albalwi was charged March 13 with four counts of sexual assault.
In June, prosecutors allege, Hudson called Albalwi's father and told him that for $15 million, Ors would not testify against the son and "the case would be over." On the same day, Cavallo allegedly called the sheik and demanded $20 million, saying an account would be set up in Lucerne, Switzerland, to receive the cash.
The three were arrested Thursday. The attorneys were released on bail, but Ors remains in custody and is expected to be arraigned today.
Cavallo, noted for testifying against disgraced former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona and also representing the gang rapist son of an assistant sheriff, is scheduled for arraignment tomorrow and Hudson is expected to be arraigned July 31.
Cavallo was previously in trouble with the law in Orange County, accused of paying bond agents to send clients his way in 2007. He pleaded guilty, was disbarred, eventually got the case dismissed and got his license to practice law again.
If convicted, each of the defendants could face up to four years behind bars.
The sexual assault case against Thamer Albalwi was dismissed Friday by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Dabney, according to the District Attorney's Office.
"I prayed that the truth would come out and, thanks to the American justice system, it did," Thamer Albalwi said in a statement released by his law firm, Brown White & Newhouse LLP.
Albalwi provided telephone and credit card records, emails, text messages and surveillance video to the police to prove that Ors was lying, according to his attorneys.
--City News Service
Patch Editor Penny Arévalo contributed to this report.