U.S. judge denies Prince Andrew plea to dismiss civil sexual assault case
Updated 01:56, 13-Jan-2022
Catherine Newman
The UK's Prince Andrew's plea to dismiss a sexual assault case against him has been denied by a New York court. /Lindsey Parnaby/AFP

The UK's Prince Andrew's plea to dismiss a sexual assault case against him has been denied by a New York court. /Lindsey Parnaby/AFP


A U.S. judge has denied Prince Andrew's plea to dismiss a sexual assault lawsuit brought against the UK royal, leading the way for the case to proceed later this year. 

New York Judge Lewis Kaplan said in his ruling that Andrew's motion to dismiss the civil complaint by accuser Virginia Giuffre was "denied in all respects." 

Giuffre alleges that the late U.S. sex offender, financier Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her for sex with his wealthy and powerful associates, including to Andrew, the son of the UK's Queen Elizabeth II. The 61-year-old royal has repeatedly denied the allegations and has not been charged with any criminal offense.

Last week, Andrew's lawyers had urged Kaplan to throw out the suit, citing a settlement that Giuffre signed in 2009 with Epstein. The deal, which was made public for the first time by a New York court this month, showed Giuffre agreed to drop a civil claim against Epstein for $500,000. 

The settlement also contained a provision that purports to protect "other potential defendants" from being sued related to alleged sexual abuse committed by Epstein, who killed himself while awaiting trial in jail in 2019. 

Andrew Brettler, Andrew's attorney, said Giuffre had "waived her rights" to sue other defendants in relation to alleged sex crimes committed by Epstein. 

Prince Andrew was sued by Giuffre for unspecified damages last year, the allegations being that he sexually assaulted her in 2001 when she was 17, a minor under U.S. law. She claims Andrew assaulted her at Epstein's home in New York and on Epstein's private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Giuffre also alleges Andrew sexually abused her at the London home of the former British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who in December was found guilty of sex trafficking minors for Epstein. 




Since being forced to withdraw from royal duties in 2019 for not distancing himself from Epstein, Andrew has rarely been seen in public. 

In an interview with the BBC that same year, Andrew denied Giuffre's claims that they had shared a sweaty dance at a London nightclub, claiming that at the time he could not sweat due a condition related to his time in the 1982 Falklands War. 

Last week, Giuffre's lawyers also demanded that Andrew prove with medical records he was unable to sweat. 

Andrew's legal team has accused Giuffre of seeking to profit from a "baseless lawsuit." 

If Giuffre and the UK royal are unable to reach a settlement, it is likely the case will go before a jury trial, likely in the latter half of this year. 

Source(s): AFP

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