• Maibort Petit

Prince Andrew would have to face a trial for sexual abuse of minors in the Big Apple

Judge Lewis Kaplan denied Prince Andrew's motion to dismiss Virginia Giuffre's lawsuit against him.

by Maibort Petit

A New York judge's decision will force Prince Andrew, son of England's Queen Elizabeth, to face trial over a civil sex abuse lawsuit filed by one of the women who accused Jeffrey Epstein and the royal of abusing her when she was 17.

Photo of prince Andrew
Prince Andrew to face trial in New York

Manhattan Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled Wednesday that the trial can run its course in New York Court.

In a 46-page decision, Kaplan "denied in every respect" the royals' numerous attempts to dismiss Virginia Roberts Giuffre's lawsuit against him.

Prince Andrew's lawyers had argued that the 2009 settlement agreement between Giuffre and Epstein shielded him from any liability stemming from the woman's allegations.

Judge Kaplan insisted that Giuffre's $500,000 deal with Epstein was too "ambiguous" to cover the Duke of York, reasoning that Epstein had likely only sought to protect himself.

The magistrate also dismissed Prince Andrew's "without merit" suggestion, which has argued that Giuffre's complaint should be "more definitive" as it is ambiguous.

Kaplan noted how Giuffre's lawsuit alleges that Andrew "engaged in sex acts with " her " without her consent, knowing her age and knowing that she was a victim of sex trafficking who was forced to engage in those acts."

The magistrate held in his ruling that Giuffre's complaint is neither 'unintelligible' nor 'vague' as the royals warn but that the woman's claim has detailed allegations that if true, would be "reprehensible".

The judge cautioned that Giuffre "alleges discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances in three identifiable locations. points out who he attributes that sexual abuse to."

Judge Kaplan's decision would force Prince Andrew to face trial against him in Manhattan federal court, scheduled for later this year.

According to the lawsuit filed by Giuffre, the late financier Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her and forced her to have sex with her friends, including Prince Andrew, and that the royals knew she was a minor (17) at the time.

The woman alleges that the Duke of York sexually abused her on Epstein's private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, at his mansion in Manhattan and at his ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell's home in London.

Judge Kaplan set a timetable that sets until July 14, 2022 for Prince Andrew to answer questions about the case under oath, following a ruling issued by the court last year.

If the case is not resolved with the previous procedures, the Duke of York could face a trial date in the last quarter of 2022.

Giuffre's attorney, Sigrid McCawley, said in a statement that the judge's ruling is "another important step in Virginia's heroic and determined pursuit of justice as a survivor of sex trafficking."

The civil lawsuit stems from allegations alleged victims made against Epstein, a millionaire who abused minors and allegedly created a sex trafficking ring that included his influential friends.

The U.S. government has accused Epstein of carrying out a decades-long scheme of sexual abuse of underage girls, taking them on private planes to his properties in Florida, New York, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to state prostitution charges and in July 2019 was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges. The depraved man committed suicide in prison in 2019 before he could stand trial.

Ghislaine Maxwell, his ex-girlfriend and ex-employee, was convicted in December of five federal charges, including sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy.

Giuffre was unable to testify against Ghislaine Maxwell because prosecutors felt her account was not easy to prove, and because the facts she alleged were when she was 17, which in New York is the age of consent.

Giuffre alleged that Andrew, Epstein and Maxwell "forced her to engage in sexual acts through express or implied threats," and she "feared death or physical injury" if she disobeyed.

After the decision, another of Giuffre's lawyers, David Boies, said the accuser was "pleased" that "evidence will now be taken on her claims against him."

"She awaits a judicial determination of the merits of those claims," he said in a statement.

About the Author

Maibort Petit is a Venezuelan writer, researcher and political scientist specialized in Transnational Organized Crime. Based in New York, she works for various Hispanic media outlets and as a consultant for various firms in New York and Washington DC.

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