Judge Refuses To Throw Out Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Prince Andrew

Admin 14-Jan-2022 World_News

By Olamide Adebayo

A judge has rejected Prince Andrew's attempt to have the sexual assault lawsuit against him thrown out.

US judge Lewis Kaplan refused to dismiss the case after hearing arguments from lawyers representing the royal and his accuser Virginia Giuffre.

It means the Duke of York will face a civil sex case trial later this year.

Speaking to Sky News after the ruling, Ms Giuffre's lawyer David Boies said she was "pleased with the court's decision".

"It is only one step in the process, it does not resolve the case but it rejects certain legal defences Prince Andrew was putting up to avoid the trial," he said.

Mr Boies said he believed the duke's legal team's "options are exhausted", though he suspected they will have "creative arguments they want to make".

Asked what Ms Giuffre wants, he replied: "I believe she wants to achieve justice."

Andrew is being sued by Ms Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, who claims he "committed sexual assault and battery" upon her when she was a teenager.

She alleges that she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, the late disgraced financier, to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17.

The duke's lawyers had asked for the civil lawsuit in New York to be dismissed after arguing Ms Giuffre waived her right to sue him when she signed a $500,000 dollar settlement agreement with Epstein.

The 2009 document said Ms Giuffre had agreed to "release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge" Epstein and "any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant".

Andrew Brettler, representing Andrew, told a court hearing it was "unquestionable" that the royal could have been sued in the 2009 case, and would therefore be considered a "potential defendant".

The duke's lawyer told Judge Kaplan that Ms Giuffre's lawsuit "should absolutely be dismissed", arguing it was "unfair" and "unjust".

But Ms Giuffre's lawyer said Andrew would not be a "potential defendant" as referred to in the settlement, as the 2009 lawsuit made no allegation that the duke had trafficked individuals for illegal sexual activity.

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