(NEW YORK) — A decide gave the inexperienced mild Wednesday to a lawsuit by an American girl who says Britain’s Prince Andrew sexually abused her when she was 17.
U.S. District Choose Lewis A. Kaplan wrote in an opinion that Andrew’s legal professionals didn’t efficiently problem the constitutionality of Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit. Giuffre sued the prince in August, alleging that she was coerced into sexual encounters with Andrew in 2001 by Epstein and his longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell.
His legal professionals had stated that the lawsuit lacked specificity and was disqualified by a deal she reached in 2009 with legal professionals for Jeffrey Epstein. In addition they attacked the credibility and motives of Giuffre, saying in October that the lawsuit was geared toward reaching “one other payday at his expense and on the expense of these closest to him.”
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The prince’s legal professionals have stated that Andrew by no means sexually abused or assaulted Giuffre and that he “unequivocally denies Giuffre’s false allegations in opposition to him.” The prince himself has strenuously denied Giuffre’s allegations. In late 2019, Prince Andrew advised BBC Newsnight that intercourse with Giuffre “didn’t occur” and he has “no recollection” of ever assembly her.
The interview was broadly panned by critics who stated Andrew appeared insensitive to Epstein’s victims. Afterward, the prince stepped again from royal duties.
On Wednesday, his legal professionals didn’t instantly reply to messages looking for remark. Buckingham Palace advised The Related Press that it might not touch upon the “ongoing authorized matter.”
Kaplan famous that he was required by legislation, at this stage of the litigation, to proceed as if the allegations made by Giuffre are true.
“The legislation prohibits the Court docket from contemplating at this stage of the proceedings defendant’s efforts to forged doubt on the reality of Ms. Giuffre’s allegations, regardless that his efforts can be permissible at trial,” Kaplan stated.
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Giuffre’s settlement with Epstein was reached a decade earlier than the financier killed himself at a Manhattan lockup as he awaited a intercourse trafficking trial in 2019. However Kaplan wrote that there have been substantial indications within the $500,000 settlement that Epstein and Giuffre didn’t clearly intend for language to “instantly,” “primarily,” or “considerably” profit somebody such because the prince. He famous that the prince was not a celebration to the settlement.
He additionally stated the settlement was “removed from a mannequin of clear and exact drafting.”
The decide’s findings mirrored feedback he made throughout oral arguments by either side when he was significantly dismissive of the arguments made on the prince’s behalf.
Epstein, 66, killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 whereas awaiting a intercourse trafficking trial, whereas Maxwell, 60, was just lately convicted of intercourse trafficking and conspiracy fees in federal court docket in New York. Giuffre’s allegations in opposition to Andrew weren’t part of both prison case.
The Related Press doesn’t usually establish individuals who say they’re victims of sexual assault except they select to come back ahead publicly, as Giuffre has.
AP reporter Danica Kirka contributed from London.