California lawyers, German woman accused of shaking down Saudi sheikh

Story highlights

  • Leyla Ors accused the sheikh's son of rape and torture in March
  • Her lawyers allegedly demanded millions to get the sex assault charges dropped
  • A judge dismissed the sex charges against the sheikh's 23-year-old son

A German woman and two California lawyers have been charged with extortion for allegedly accusing the son of a wealthy Saudi sheikh of sexual assault and torture.

Leyla Ors, 33, told Los Angeles detectives last March that Thamer Albalwi, 23, had raped and tortured her. He was arrested and charged with four counts of sexual assault based on her story and a physical exam, according to the Los Angeles district attorney.

A judge dismissed those charges against Albalwi last Friday after prosecutors disclosed their extortion case against Ors.

The woman's two lawyers allegedly called Albalwi's father, Sheikh Monsur Albalwi, in June with offers of ending the criminal case against his son for a large payment, a release from District Attorney Jackie Lacey said.

Attorney Emanuel Karl Hudson allegedly told him that for $15 million, Ors would not testify against the son and "the case would be over," the criminal complaint said.

On the same day, attorney Joseph Gerard Cavallo told Sheikh Albalwi, one of the wealthiest men in Saudi Arabia, that the demand was for $20 million to be transferred to a Swiss bank account that Hudson would set up, the complaint said.   

Ors, Hudson and Cavallo face charges of attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, conspiracy to receive a bribe and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Ors is also charged with one count of offering to receive a bribe by a witness.