Prince Andrew’s Lawyer Argues Virginia Giuffre Was Old Enough to Consent Under New York Law

Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Andrew is making another attempt to throw out the civil case being brought against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with the queen’s son.

Andrew controversially asked Judge Lewis Kaplan to dismiss Giuffre’s complaint, arguing that New York’s Child Victims Act, the legislation under which she is suing him, is flawed because it classifies those under the age of 18 as minors, but the age of consent in New York is 17, The Times of London reports. Giuffre alleges that she was 17 when she was forced to have sex with the prince multiple times at various locations around the world, in 2001.

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A notorious photograph of Andrew with his arm around a teenage Giuffre’s bare midriff has circulated in the media for several years, but the Duke of York claims to have never met Giuffre. The photograph, which shows Ghislaine Maxwell in the background, was reportedly taken at her London apartment by Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a jailhouse suicide in 2019.

Andrew’s allies have previously planted stories in the press saying he believes the picture is a fake, a claim that has been met with stunned disbelief by his critics.

The Times of London reports the new filing from Andrew’s legal team argues the Child Victims Act is “not a reasonable mechanism to address the injustice of child sexual abuse in New York” because it classifies under-18s as minors “even though the age of consent in New York is 17.”

Andrew is arguing “the issue of consent is unsettled with regard to those—like Giuffre—who were between the ages of 17 and 18.”

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The Times says Andrew’s legal team, headed by Andrew Brettler, acknowledge in the paperwork that it would be possible to prove lack of consent by showing evidence of an “implied threat” being made, but it would be difficult to prove “as memories fade, false memories are created, and witnesses die or otherwise become unavailable.”

The filing adds, they report: “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.”

The Times also reports that Andrew says he should be protected from legal action by Giuffre under the terms of a settlement she made with Epstein in 2009.

The Times said Kaplan “agreed a delay to January 14 last night.”

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