A federal judge in New York rejected a request by Prince Andrew to dismiss a sexual assault lawsuit against him. The lawsuit was filed by Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York when she was 17-years-old.
Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghisailane Maxwell and was sexually assaulted by Andrew at Maxwell’s home in London, Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and his mansion in Manhattan.
Prince Andrew has denied the allegations and his legal team argued that Giuffre’s lawsuit is invalid because it violated the terms of a 2009 settlement agreement she made with Epstein. They also tried to cast doubt on her claims.
The judge rejected both arguments, saying that those issues could be raised during the trial.
“Ms. Giuffre’s complaint is neither ‘unintelligible’ nor ‘vague’ nor ‘ambiguous,'” Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in his ruling. “It alleges discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances at three identifiable locations. It identifies to whom it attributes that sexual abuse.”
“In a similar vein and for similar reasons, it is not open to the court now to decide, as a matter of fact, just what the parties to the release in the 2009 settlement agreement signed by Ms. Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein actually meant,” Kaplan added.
If the two sides cannot reach a settlement, the trial could begin sometime between September and December.