NEW YORK (WTVO) – A US judge has denied Britain’s Prince Andrew’s attempt to dismiss Virginia Giuffre’s sexual abuse case against him.
Giuffre is suing the prince over claims he sexually abused her in 2001 when she was 17. Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II’s third child, has denied the claims and filed last year to dismiss the case. However, Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled on Wednesday that the case will go forward, meaning a trial could happen later this year.
According to court documents, Giuffre said she is a survivor of sex trafficking and abuse by the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew’s legal team argued the case should be thrown out, as Giuffre settled her claim against Epstein in 2009 and agreed to not sue anyone else connected to the billionaire. Epstein and Andrew had a friendship at the time, according to the BBC.
Judge Kaplan said in the 46-page ruling that Giuffre’s settlement “cannot be said” to apply to the prince, since it is alleged that Giuffre was trafficked to, not by, him. Kaplan also said the fact that Prince Andrew filed to dismiss Giuffre’s complaint as “legally insufficient” is of “central importance,” because it implies the claims are true “for the purposes of this motion only.”
“The defendant [Prince Andrew], by making this motion, placed upon the Court the unyielding duty to assume…the truth of all of plaintiff’s [Giuffre] allegations,” Kaplan wrote.
As such, the law prohibits consideration during this stage of the proceedings about any of Andrew’s potential attempts to discredit the claims. However, such attempts would be allowed at a trial.
Court documents also reveal Giuffre’s claim that Prince Andrew met Epstein in 1999 through “close friend” Ghislaine Maxwell. A New York jury found Maxwell guilty last month of trafficking underage girls in connection with Epstein’s “widely” publicized sex trafficking scheme. Maxwell is featured in a picture with Andrew and Giuffre, and has also been pictured with Epstein at Queen Elizabeth’s Balmoral residence in Scotland.