Saturday, April 1, 2023

Prince Andrew seeks jury trial if Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit is not dismissed

NEW YORK (AP) — Prince Andrew wants a jury to rule on a sexual assault accused if he fails to fully dismiss the case, his lawyers said in court documents on Wednesday.

American Virginia Giuffre has accused the British royal family of sexually abusing her when she was 17 while traveling with financier Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew’s attorneys’ request was a line-by-line formal response to a lawsuit that Giuffre filed against him in August in Manhattan federal court.

Andrew strongly denied Giuffre’s allegations and attempted to dismiss the claim. Earlier this month, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan denied his bid for an early dismissal, allowing both parties to continue gathering deposition and other evidence.

Wednesday’s response was filed by Los Angeles attorneys Andrew Brettler and Melissa Lerner. They said the lawsuit should be dismissed on several grounds, again citing Giuffre’s permanent residence in Australia and a settlement agreement between Epstein and Giuffre over a decade ago that Andrew’s lawyers say prevents her from suing the prince. They also claimed that she had consented to the sex life and that the statute of limitations had expired.

Giuffre claimed to have met Andrew when she traveled frequently with Epstein between 2000 and 2002, when her lawyers allege she “summoned Epstein for sexual purposes” and was “borrowed to other powerful people”, including Andrew. Her lawsuit states that she is still suffering from significant emotional and psychological distress and harm.

Following a judge’s decision earlier in January, Prince Andrew, who had already stepped down from royal duties, was stripped of his honorary military ranks.

Epstein, 66, committed suicide in a Manhattan federal prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Giuffre also brought charges against Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime associate, but was not part of the criminal case that recently ended with Maxwell’s conviction on sex trafficking charges.

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who claim to have been victims of sexual assault, unless they choose to come forward publicly, as Giuffre did.

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Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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