Prince Andrew asks judge to toss sex abuse lawsuit, says accuser was above New York age of consent
Epstein accuser sues Prince Andrew, claims she was sexually assaulted by him when she was 17
Federal prosecutors on the civil case are still attempting to talk with the British Royal after sending him a formal request nearly one year ago
Prince Andrew asked a judge this week to toss out a civil lawsuit that was filed against him in August by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims that the Queen’s son sexually abused her when she was 17 years old at Jeffrey Epstein’s New York home, as well as in London and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Giuffre filed the suit under the New York Child Victims’ Act, which was passed in 2019 and temporarily allowed victims to sue their alleged abusers if they were younger than 18 when the abuse took place.
Prince Andrew’s attorneys argued in a motion filed Monday that the Child Victims’ Act is unconstitutional and Giuffre’s claims are invalid because she was 17 years old when the alleged abuse took place.
“The [Child Victims’ Act] revives claims for those who allegedly suffered harm as a result of certain sexual offenses they claim were committed against them when they were under the age of eighteen, even though the age of consent in New York is seventeen,” the attorneys wrote.
Prince Andrew asked a judge to toss a civil lawsuit he is facing that alleges he sexually abused Virginia Giuffre when she was 17 years old.
(Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP, File)
The attorneys also argued that accusers must establish lack of consent by “implied threat,” but there are no third parties that can testify to the alleged abuse.
“Here, the only witnesses to the purported implied threats under which Giuffre allegedly engaged in unconsented sex acts with Prince Andrew are Epstein (deceased), Maxwell (incarcerated), Prince Andrew (the accused) and Giuffre herself,” Prince Andrew’s attorneys wrote.
Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019, a month after he was criminally charged with sex trafficking.
Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and a longtime friend of Prince Andrew, is currently on trial in New York. Multiple women have testified that Maxwell groomed them to be sexually abused by Epstein when they were girls.
Photo from 2001 that was included in court files allegedly shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince.
(U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals)
Giuffre filed the civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew in August, saying at the time she is holding him “accountable for what he did to me.”
“The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one’s life by speaking out and demanding justice,” Giuffre said in a statement at the time.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, says that Giuffre “feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying” Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew because of their “powerful connections, wealth, and authority.”
It also alleges that Prince Andrew knew Giuffre was 17 years old at the time, but still abused her “for the purpose of gratifying his sexual desires.”
David Boies, representing several of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims, center, arrives with Annie Farmer, right, and Virginia Giuffre, second left, at federal court in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019.
(Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Separately, a judge ruled Tuesday that a secret 2008 settlement reached between Giuffre and Epstein should be made public. Prince Andrew’s attorneys have argued that deal shields Prince Andrew from Giuffre’s lawsuit.
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Prince Andrew has maintained that the allegations against him are false, telling BBC in a widely-mocked 2019 interview that he has “no recollection” of ever meeting Giuffre.
“I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened,” Andrew said at the time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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