The 2nd eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Andrew, has been facing a sexual assault lawsuit since 2014. The accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre stated that the Duke of York forced her into paedophilic sex on 3 occasions between 2000 and 2002.
She said the first incident happened when she was 17 years old at the London home of famous British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. The victim alleged that she was trafficked for the royal Prince by the convicted American sex offender Jeffery Epstein, who was found hanging in his prison cell in 2019. The following two assaults happened at Epstein’s New York mansion and private estate in the Virgin Islands.
What does Prince Andrew say in His Defence?
Prince Andrew and his legal team have recently responded for the first time since being accused by Giuffre. The duke denied the allegations that he sexually abused Virginia on 3 occasions while she was a minor. He also denied that he knew Maxwell, who was convicted in December 2021 for grooming underage girls for Andrew.
His denials contradict the photographs that show Andrew, Maxwell, and Epstein together at parties with topless girls. Another snapshot placed the Prince in an intimate pose with the significantly younger Virginia while Maxwell was smiling in the back. Pictures showed that the Prince not only knew Maxwell but was very close with her and the deceased sex offender Epstein.
Defence lawyers said that Andrew lacked “sufficient information” to admit or deny the allegation contained in the photograph. Andrew’s layers prepared an 11-page document to save him from the case.
There were 12 statements of defence that include arguments like Virginia’s case must be dismissed because “too much time has passed”;” she’s a permanent resident of Australia”; “Virginia committed wrongful conduct herself”; and “she gave up her right to sue after making 500,000 USD deal with Jeffery Epstein in 2009”. The deal with Epstein included a clause that stated Virginia had agreed to “release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge” Epstein and all his associates.
However, the judge dismissed Andrew’s bids and ordered the case to proceed further.
Trial By Jury
Prince Andrew challenged the judge’s decision and demanded trial by jury in the US court. It is a lawful prosecution in which the jury decides the causes of actions. It is different from a bench trial in which judges make all the decisions.
Moreover, the US courts are also different from England and Wales. Notoriously, 90% of civil cases in the US settle before they even go to trial. Experts think that the Prince will go as far as possible to clear his name from this case. “Demanding” trial by jury sounds like a bullish act considering the evidence against him. However, it is just the start as the defenders will do everything to throw the victim off balance.
Attacking the Victim
Prince Andrew and his legal team are ready to drag the fight and possibly ridicule Virginia further. His court defences already blamed the victim for her assault and implied that she consented to the abuse. They completely ignored how she was groomed for the adult man while she was just a minor.
American Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who fought for many victims of Epstein, explained the phenomenon in detail. Andrew’s defence insensitively brought in the concept of consent against the victim of sex trafficking. It indicates they will also attack Virginia with character assassination because of her past. They will attempt to establish that the victim must be stopped from going forward with the case because of her actions.
On the other hand, Ghislaine Maxwell is also trying to demand a retrial for her conviction last month. If both offenders are granted what they want, it could be a very traumatic experience for Epstein and Maxwell’s sex trafficking survivors.