Criminal charges were dismissed Wednesday against a German woman who had been accused by prosecutors of falsely claiming that she was sexually assaulted by the son of a wealthy Saudi sheik as part of an alleged plot to extort millions of dollars from his father.
The case against Leyla Ors, 38, and two of her attorneys, Joseph Gerard Cavallo, 64, and Emanuel Karl Hudson, 63, was dismissed at the defense’s request after the prosecution announced it was unable to proceed, according to attorneys representing Cavallo and Hudson.
“I never thought there was a case there …,” Hudson’s attorney, Harland Braun, said after the dismissal.
Cavallo’s lawyer, John Barnett, said, “Certainly my client is glad that it’s over with and is going to move on.”
Ors, Cavallo and Hudson — who had pleaded not guilty to the charges filed just over five years ago — had been awaiting a hearing to determine if there was sufficient evidence to require them to stand trial.
Ors was charged with one felony count each of offering to receive a bribe by a witness, attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, conspiracy of offering to receive a bribe and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Cavallo and Hudson were each charged with one felony count each of attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, conspiracy of offering to receive a bribe and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Ors told police in March 2014 that she had been raped by Thamer Albalwi, the 23-year-old son of Sheikh Monsur Albalwi, one of the wealthiest men in Saudi Arabia, according to a news release issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office after the case was filed.
Based on her allegations, a physical exam and visible injuries, the junior Albalwi was charged March 13 with four counts of sexual assault, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors alleged that Hudson called Albalwi’s father in June 2014 and told him that for $15 million, Ors wouldn’t testify against the son and “the case would be over.” On the same day, Cavallo called the sheik and demanded $20 million, saying an account would be set up in Lucerne, Switzerland, to receive the cash, according to the criminal complaint.
Ors was interviewed two days later by authorities and told them she had photos on her cell phone of injuries she suffered in the alleged attack. However, she later refused to turn over the phone, citing the advice of her attorney, according to the prosecution.
All charges in the sexual assault case against Thamer Albalwi were dismissed in 2014 by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Dabney, who issued a finding of “factual innocence,” according to Albalwi’s attorneys.
“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 the law firm that represented him.
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.
Cavallo was suspended from practicing law for three years following his 2007 conviction on three felony charges for illegally paying bail bondsmen to steer clients his way.
Cavallo, who spent several months behind bars, once represented a former Orange County assistant sheriff’s son who was convicted of the 2002 sexual assault of a teenage girl.
His client’s late father, Don Haidl, pleaded guilty to a federal tax charge and agreed to cooperate in a corruption case filed against former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona, who was convicted of witness tampering and is serving a federal prison sentence.
Cavallo and Hudson are both listed on the State Bar of California’s website as having active licenses.
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