Prince Andrew will face a civil trial in the United States over allegations of sexual assault after a judge rejected his arguments to have the case thrown out.
The prince is accused by Virginia Giuffre of sexually assaulting her when she was seventeen years old. The Duke of York and his lawyers had argued that a deal she signed with 2009 with Jeffrey Epstein, for $500,000, prevented her taking action against him as in it she agreed not to pursue any other ”potential defendant”. Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected that claim.
In his ruling, Judge Kaplan said that the agreement made in 2009 could not be said to benefit the prince. He also rejected claims by Andrew’s lawyers that the case against him was ”legally insufficient”. In his 46 page ruling, the judge said: ”Ms Giuffre’s complaint is neither ‘unintelligible’ nor ‘vague’ nor ‘ambiguous’.”
The ruling, on January 12th 2022, means that the Duke of York will face a civil trial in the US. That’s not expected to take place before the autumn of this year.
Buckingham Palace refused to comment on the developments.
Lawyers for Virginia Giuffre said she was ”pleased” that attempts to dismiss the case before it reached trial had failed. David Boies added ””She looks forward to a judicial determination of the merits of those claims.”
Ms Giuffre alleges that she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein when she was 17 and that the Duke of York “committed sexual assault and battery” on her when she was a teenager.
The Duke of York has always denied the allegations against him.