Prince Andrew suffers double setback from US judge in Epstein abuse case

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  • Jeffrey Epstein
    American financier
  • Virginia Giuffre
    Alleged victim of the underage sex trafficking ring operated by Jeffrey Epstein

A US federal judge has blocked two attempts by Prince Andrew to derail the sex assault lawsuit that Virginia Giuffre has brought against him.

Judge Lewis A Kaplan issued a written order telling Prince Andrew's lawyers that they must adhere to an already scheduled document handover. Further, the judge rejected a motion by the prince's attorneys to have the lawsuit dismissed on jurisdictional grounds as Ms Giuffre no longer lives in the US.

Ms Giuffre claims that she was sexually abused by Prince Andrew and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein on multiple occasions when she was 17.

Major developments in the lawsuit are expected during a hearing on Tuesday, just one day after the 2009 settlement agreement between Epstein and Ms Giuffre is made public.

The Guardian reports that Ms Giuffre's legal team is claiming that they have found up to six witnesses who can link Prince Andrew to Ms Giuffre.

Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. He claims he was at a Pizza Express in Woking on the night Ms Giuffre claims the pair had sex, and has been challenged to name any witnesses to support his alibi.

The prince is a former friend of Ghislaine Maxwell, who was last week convicted on sex trafficking charges tied to her time working with Epstein.

On Thursday Maxwell was found guilty on five of six counts against her, including sex trafficking a minor. She is believed to have operated as a pimp and recruiter for Epstein.

Prince Andrew was not named in Maxwell's trial, and her conviction does not have any legal implications for the lawsuit involving the prince.

Ms Giuffre, however, may be called to give a victim impact statement at Maxwell's sentencing hearing.

The next major action in Ms Giuffre's lawsuit will take place on Tuesday, when Judge Kaplan decides if her civil claim against Prince Andrew can proceed to trial.

Assuming the case is allowed to go to trial, Ms Giuffre's legal team will seek further documentation from the prince, including proof of an unusual claim he made during a Newsnight interview that he "cannot sweat".

The detail is relevant because Ms Giuffre claims that the prince was "sweating profusely all over me" while they were at a London night club on the night they allegedly had sex. Prince Andrew claimed that since he cannot sweat, she cannot be telling the truth.

He claimed he has "a peculiar medical condition which is that I don't sweat or I didn't sweat at the time”.

Ms Giuffre's legal team is demanding evidence to back his claim. They're also asking for him to name individuals who could place him at the pizza restaurant he claims to have been at the night Ms Giuffre alleges the two had sex.

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