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US Judge Denies Prince Andrew’s Plea To Dismiss Sexual Assault Case

Prince Andrew is to face a civil case over allegations that he sexually abused a woman when she was 17 years old. Virginia Giuffre has filed a lawsuit against the prince, alleging that he assaulted her in 2001. His attorneys argued that the complaint should be dismissed, citing a 2009 agreement she made with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. However, a New York judge concluded that the case may proceed.

Prince Andrew to face civil sex assault case
Prince Andrew with Virginia Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell

The claims have been continually refuted by the prince. Buckingham Palace has stated that it will not comment on a pending court case. Judge Lewis A Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York explained the move to dismiss the complaint in a 46-page opinion. It means that the case against the Duke of York, 61, could be heard later this year in court.

Judge Kaplan stated that his decision did not assess whether Ms. Giuffre’s complaint was “true or false.” Ms. Giuffre expressed her delight that Prince Andrew’s attempt to dismiss the matter had been rejected, and that “evidence relating her charges against him will now be taken.”

“She looks forward to a judicial assessment of the merits of those claims,” her lawyer, David Boies, said in a statement.

Ms Giuffre claimed in court records that she was a victim of sex trafficking and abuse at the hands of late billionaire financier Epstein. She claims that being lent out to other powerful men was part of her abuse. In a 2019 interview with BBC Newsnight, Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son, said he had no knowledge of ever meeting Virginia Giuffre and that her account of them having sex in the US and UK “didn’t happen.”

When Ms. Giuffre resolved her damages action against Epstein in 2009, his lawyers pointed to a court agreement between Ms. Giuffre and Epstein not to sue anyone else connected to the billionaire.

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