Prince Andrew has asked a judge to thrown out a civil lawsuit filed against him on the grounds that the accuser was above the age of consent.
His accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, claims that the Duke of York sexually abused her when she was 17 years old.
Giuffre has alleged these incidents took place at the New York home of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, as well as in London and on Epstein’s private island, Little Saint James, in the US Virgin Islands.
Giuffre filed the lawsuit in August under the New York Child Victims’ Act. Passed in 2019, this legislation temporarily allowed survivors to sue those who’d allegedly abused them if they’d been under 18 at the time of the alleged abuse.
In a motion filed Monday, December 13, as reported by Fox News, Prince Andrew’s legal team argued that the Child Victims’ Act is in fact unconstitutional, stating that Giuffre’s claims are invalid given that she had been 17 years old at the time of the alleged abuse.
As per this motion:
The [Child Victims’ Act] revives claims for those who allegedly suffered harm as a result of certain sexual offenses they claim were committed against them when they were under the age of eighteen, even though the age of consent in New York is seventeen.
The attorneys went on to argue that accusers have to establish lack of consent by ‘implied threat’, remarking that there are no third parties who can testify that the alleged abuse took place:
Here, the only witnesses to the purported implied threats under which Giuffre allegedly engaged in unconsented sex acts with Prince Andrew are Epstein (deceased), Maxwell (incarcerated), Prince Andrew (the accused) and Giuffre herself.
Prince Andrew has denied the allegations made against in, telling the BBC’s Emily Maitlis that he had ‘no recollection’ of meeting Giuffre in a now infamous 2019 interview.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays
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