Virginia Giuffre files lawsuit against Prince Andrew alleging sexual abuse

Virginia Giuffre: Prince Andrew accuser files civil case in US

Britain’s Prince Andrew has been sued in New York by a woman who said she was forced to have sexual encounters with the prominent royal while she was trafficked beginning at age 16 by his friend Jeffrey Epstein, including at the late sex offender’s sprawling mansion in Manhattan.

Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit was filed in federal court in Manhattan on Monday, citing the state’s Child Victims Act, legislation passed several years ago that extended the statute of limitations for adults who were allegedly abused as children to sue. The lawsuit was filed just as Giuffre’s Aug. 14 deadline to do so was nearing.

It claims the prince engaged in sexual acts without her consent, knowing how old she was and “that she was a sex-trafficking victim”.

“Twenty years ago, Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her. It is long past the time for him to be held to account,” the lawsuit states.

“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but one can reclaim her life by speaking out and demanding justice,” Giuffre said, via her lawyers, in a statement to ABC News.

“I did not come to this decision lightly. As a mother and a wife, my family comes first. I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates. But I knew that if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down,” the statement said.

Giuffre, now a 38-year-old mother living in Australia, first accused the prince of sexual abuse in public court filings in December of 2014, in a case brought by alleged Epstein victims against the U.S. Department of Justice. That lawsuit challenged Epstein’s lenient deal with federal prosecutors in Florida in 2008.

“It is emphatically denied that [Prince Andrew] had any form of sexual contact or relationship with [Giuffre]. The allegations made are false and without any foundation,” the Palace statement said.

“Hopefully by holding Prince Andrew to account, [she can] make some progress toward reducing the chance that what happened to her does not happen to other young women,” Boies added.

Boies said he did not get the sense that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which handled the prosecutions of Epstein and Maxwell, was planning to pursue a criminal case against Andrew.

If Andrew’s legal team ignores the lawsuit, Giuffre could be granted a judgment in her favor and Boies could ask a British court to enforce the ruling.

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