Prince Andrew Asks Judge to Toss Child Rape Case: Victim Was 'Above Age of Consent'
Virginia Roberts Giuffre accuses British Queen's son of sexually abusing her
Britain's Prince Andrew has called on the judge presiding over his case to toss out the child rape lawsuit against him, arguing that his accuser was "above the age of consent" during the alleged rapes.
Andrew, the Duke of York, is being sued by deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's child sex trafficking victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
Giuffre accuses Andrew, Queen Elizabeth's son, of raping her on three separate occasions after she was trafficked to the prince when she was 17 by Epstein and his alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell.
In the civil lawsuit, that was filed against Andrew in August by Giuffre, the victim says she was raped by the prince at Epstein's New York mansion, as well as in Maxwell's London home, and on Epstein's private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, aka "Pedophile Island."
Giuffre filed the lawsuit under the New York Child Victims’ Act.
The law was passed in 2019 and temporarily allowed victims to sue their alleged abusers if they were younger than 18 when the abuse took place.
Prince Andrew's attorneys argued in a motion filed Monday that the Child Victims’ Act is unconstitutional and Giuffre's claims are invalid because she was 17 years old when the alleged abuse took place.
"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 wrote.
The attorneys also argued that accusers must establish a lack of consent by "implied threat," but there are no third parties that can testify to the alleged abuse.
"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's attorneys wrote.
Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019, a month after he was criminally charged with child sex trafficking.
Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's former girlfriend and a longtime friend of Prince Andrew, is currently on trial in New York.
Multiple women have testified that Maxwell groomed them to be sexually abused by Epstein when they were children.
Giuffre filed the civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew in August, saying at the time she is holding him "accountable for what he did to me."
"The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions," Giuffre said in a statement at the time.
"I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one’s life by speaking out and demanding justice."
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, says that Giuffre "feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying" Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew because of their "powerful connections, wealth, and authority."
It also alleges that Prince Andrew knew Giuffre was 17 years old at the time, but still abused her "for the purpose of gratifying his sexual desires."
Separately, a judge ruled Tuesday that a secret 2008 settlement reached between Giuffre and Epstein should be made public.
Andrew's attorneys have argued that the deal shields the prince from Giuffre's lawsuit.
Prince Andrew has maintained that the allegations against him are false, telling BBC in a widely-mocked 2019 interview that he has "no recollection" of ever meeting Giuffre.
"I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened," Andrew said at the time.