Prince Andrew Looks Set To Stand Trial For Sexual Assault
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Prince Andrew is one step closer to facing a civil trial over allegations of sexual assault.
US judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed a motion by the royal's legal team to have the lawsuit thrown out in a legal technicality.
The Duke of York is being sued by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who alleges that she was forced to have sex with him back in 2001 when she was only 17 years old after being trafficked by disgraced financier and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The Queen's son has consistently denied the allegations made against him - most notably in a disastrous 2019 BBC interview - and claims that he has no recollection of meeting Ms Giuffre.
Andrew's legal team had been working to have Ms Giuffre's case against dismissed, claiming that she had "waived her rights" to sue defendants connected to Epstein's crimes.
Lawyer Andrew Brettler told judge Lewis Kaplan that the prince was a "potential defendant" in Ms Giuffre's earlier 2009 lawsuit, which ended in a settlement between Giuffre and Epstein.
The 2009 settlement was made public for the first time in January 2022, and saw Virginia Giuffre agree to drop her civil case against against Jeffrey Epstein for $500,000 (around £370,000).
The settlement in question is said to protect "other potential defendants" from being sued in relation to the sexual abuse committed by Epstein.
The Duke of York's team claimed that he as a "potential defendant" in the 2009 lawsuit, he was covered by Ms Giuffre's settlement agreement with Epstein.
In 2021, Ms Giuffre sued Prince Andrew for damages, alleging that he assaulted her at Epstein's home in New York, Ghislaine Maxwells' home in London, and on Epstein's private property in the US Virgin Islands when she was a minor.;
The ruling on Prince Andrew's trial closely follows Ghislaine Maxwell's guilty verdict in December.
The British socialite and former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein was found guilty on five of six counts, including sex trafficking of an individual under the age of 18.
Ms Maxwell has not yet been sentenced, but could potentially face up to 65 years in prison if her legal team's calls for a retrial are dismissed.