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UK's Prince Andrew must face sex abuse accuser's lawsuit: US judge

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Britain's Prince Andrew (File photo)

Britain's Prince Andrew has lost his latest legal battle with Virginia Giuffre, a woman who alleges she was sexually trafficked to the royal when she was underage.

A federal judge in New York on Wednesday denied a motion to dismiss Giuffre’s lawsuit against the Duke of York which accuses him of battering her and intentionally causing her emotional distress while the late financier Jeffrey Epstein was trafficking her.

The prince’s lawyers had previously argued that the suit should be dismissed since Giuffre, a US citizen, no longer lives in the US. They had claimed it was, therefore, pointless to exchange evidence until that question is resolved because it could result in the lawsuit's dismissal.

"Ms. Giuffre's complaint is neither 'unintelligible' nor 'vague' nor 'ambiguous,'” US District Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in the ruling. "It alleges discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances at three identifiable locations. It identifies to whom it attributes that sexual abuse."

The ruling sets up a dramatic series of legal proceedings for Queen Elizabeth II's third child that could cause considerable reputational damage to the royal family.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment, saying, "We would not comment on what is an ongoing legal matter."

Giuffre's attorney Sigrid McCawley said the ruling is "another important step in Virginia's heroic and determined pursuit of justice as a survivor of sex trafficking."

David Boies, another lawyer for Giuffre, in a statement said his client was pleased, and "looks forward to a judicial determination" of the merits of her claims.

Andrew, 61, has denied Giuffre's accusations that he forced her to have sex over two decades ago at a London home of former Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and abused her at two Epstein properties.

Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to state prostitution charges and in July 2019 was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell, 60, was also found guilty on Dec. 29 of recruiting and trafficking young girls to be sexually abused by Epstein.


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