LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles prosecutors declined to press a felony sexual assault charge against a member of the Saudi royal family because of insufficient evidence, a spokeswoman said Monday.
The district attorney forwarded the case against Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud to the city attorney for a possible misdemeanor charge, spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
Al-Saud, 29, was arrested Sept. 23 by Los Angeles police at a compound he was renting near Beverly Hills on suspicion of forced oral copulation with an adult.
Defense lawyer Alan Jackson said the decision not to press charges shows the accusations were unsubstantiated. He said the allegations were false and his client has repeatedly maintained his innocence.
"It became clear very quickly that the allegations were rooted in another motive, which was some kind of shakedown for money," Jackson said.
There were four alleged victims and one did not cooperate with authorities, Robison said.
Police were initially called to the estate about a man acting irrationally, police Capt. Tina Nieto said.
Three women who worked as servants at the mansion Al-Saud was renting sued him two days later, alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The women have only been identified as Jane Does.
Their attorney disputed they were trying to get money out of Al-Saud.
"Just because the DA decided not to pursue it, doesn't mean he didn't do anything wrong," attorney Van Frish said. "Police officers don't just arrest people off the street that aren't committing crimes."
A prosecutor in the city attorney's office will review the case, spokesman Frank Mateljan said.
Al-Saud has been free on $300,000 bail. Jackson said that money would be returned to him now that he's not facing a felony charge.
AP Writer Amanda Myers contributed to this report.