Prince Andrew can expect to face a civil trial in late 2022, says US District Judge Lewis Kaplan. The trial pertains to claims by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges Prince Andrew sexually abused her when she was a minor. Prince Andrew “unequivocally denies” the allegations.
According to Judge Kaplan, setting a specific trial date at this stage may be difficult due to uncertain pandemic conditions.
“I will look at the possibility of September (2022), but in any case, October through December as being the target here,” said the judge in a conference with attorneys on behalf of Andrew and Giuffre.
Andrew is the second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
Giuffre, 38, brought her civil lawsuit against Andrew, 61, in August. She alleges that Prince Andrew assaulted her in London, New York, and the US Virgin Islands beginning when she was 17. Dating back as far as 2001, Giuffre claims Andrew’s abuse was facilitated by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
Andrew’s attorney filed to dismiss the charges in October on the grounds they were “false allegations”. He claimed Giuffre was seeking “another payday” and was driven to profit from accusations against Epstein.
Judge Kaplan has scheduled a hearing for 4 January. During this hearing, Andrew’s attorneys will argue for the dismissal of Giuffre’s case. If the case is not dismissed, it will go ahead with a trial at the end of 2022.
Epstein was a financier previously convicted of procuring a child for prostitution. He was charged with sex trafficking of minors in 2019 but was found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial. An investigation into his death is still ongoing. Maxwell, an associate of Epstein’s, is currently facing numerous charges, including enticement of minors, sex trafficking of children, and perjury.
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