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Prince Andrew’s civil case: What is alleged to have happened and what happens next?

The motion to dismiss the case against the prince was denied by a US judge yesterday.

Prince Andrew (file photo).
Prince Andrew (file photo).

BRITAIN’S PRINCE ANDREW has had a motion to dismiss the civil case against him denied by a judge in New York.

The prince’s lawyers had cited a 2009 legal deal with Jeffrey Epstein as a reason why the case taken against him by Virginia Giuffre could not be heard.

However, in his written ruling, Judge Lewis Kaplan said: “For the foregoing reasons, defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint or for a more definite statement is denied in all respects.

“Given the court’s limited task of ruling on this motion, nothing in this opinion or previously in these proceedings properly may be construed as indicating a view with respect to the truth of the charges or countercharges or as to the intention of the parties in entering into the 2009 Agreement.”

The case is now expected to be heard in New York later this year.

So what exactly is alleged against Prince Andrew, and what is likely to happen next? Here’s everything you need to know.

Who is Virginia Giuffre?

Virginia Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, alleges she was trafficked by disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to be molested by financier Jeffrey Epstein and his friends.

lawyer-david-boies-arrives-with-his-client-virginia-giuffre-for-hearing-in-the-criminal-case-against-jeffrey-epstein-who-died-this-month-in-what-a-new-york-city-medical-examiner-ruled-a-suicide-at-f Virginia Giuffre and her lawyer David Boies arriving to court for hearing in the criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein in 2019. Source: Alamy Stock Photo

What case does Andrew face?

Giuffre has brought a case of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the prince.

It is claimed she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Epstein and others to Andrew, who is alleged to have sexually abused her when she was under the age of 18.

She is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the sum could be in the millions of dollars.

How many allegations does Andrew face?

Judge Kaplan referenced four separate occasions in which Giuffre accuses him of sexual misconduct.

Where is the alleged sexual abuse said to have taken place?

Giuffre claims Andrew had sex with her against her will at Maxwell’s London home and at Epstein’s mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

The royal is also alleged to have abused Giuffre on another occasion during a visit to Epstein’s private island, Little St James, and on a separate occasion at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion.

Will Andrew have to face a civil trial?

If the case is not settled before the proposed trial date, the facts of the case will be tried in New York.

Andrew has the right to ignore the civil proceedings, but if he does, a default judgement will be made in favour of Giuffre.

When will this take place?

The trial is scheduled to take place between September and December of this year.

The parties will need to confirm by 28 July whether they wish to proceed to trial.

Would Andrew have to give evidence in the case?

It is likely he will be asked to give evidence under oath as part of the discovery process in what is known as a deposition.

A deadline of January 14 has been set for both parties to file “letters rogatory,” which are formal requests for assistance from a court in one country to another court in a foreign country. They are usually filed to obtain evidence from a witness.

It remains unclear whether he will give evidence in person, via a video link or decline to participate.

What would need to happen for the case not to go to trial?

Unless there are any other motions to dismiss the case, the duke would have to reach a settlement with Giuffre.

This is usually a financial settlement where both sides go back and forth until a figure is reached.

However, following the ruling, lawyers for Giuffre suggested that she is unlikely to accept a financial settlement from the prince if one is offered.

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David Boies, a lawyer representing Giuffre, told BBC’s Newsnight: “I think it’s very important to Virginia Giuffre that this matter be resolved in a way that vindicates her and vindicates the other victims. I don’t think she has a firm view as to exactly what a solution should be.”

“But I think what’s going to be important is that this resolution vindicates her and vindicates the claim she has made,” he said.

“A purely financial settlement is not anything that I think she’s interested in,” he said.

Can Andrew appeal against Judge Kaplan’s ruling?

He can appeal through a “motion for reconsideration” or by sending the case to the second circuit court of appeals.

If that fails, then theoretically they could take the case to the US Supreme Court, however legal analysts are skeptical about whether justices would choose to hear it.

An appeal would delay proceedings. The clock is already ticking on the submission of evidence and it would buy Andrew more time.

Could criminal charges follow?

No criminal charges can directly result from the lawsuit, but the suit itself does not stop the government from filing a criminal case against Andrew if they believe a crime has been committed.

Media reports in Britain say Andrew would not have diplomatic immunity but prosecutors believe it would be very difficult to get him extradited to the United States.

Former prosecutor Roger Canaff said he didn’t believe there were “federal grounds” for charges and that the statute of limitations for state charges for the alleged 2001 assault had expired.

“I think it’s time-barred and also just not practical,” he told AFP.

With reporting from Press Association and © AFP 2022.

About the author:

Jane Moore

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