Judge prevents Britain’s Prince Andrew from blocking US lawsuit

NEW YORK.- A US federal judge rejected an attempt by the prince Andrew to immediately try to block the advance of a lawsuit filed by a woman who accuses him of having sexually assaulted her when she was 17 years old, alleging that the victim no longer lives in the United States, at a time when the presentation of oral arguments on the prince’s request that the complaint be dismissed should begin on Monday.

In a written order filed on Friday, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan told the prince’s lawyers that they must deliver documents according to the schedule established in the demands that Virginia Giuffre presented in August.

Giuffre maintains that the prince, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, abused her multiple times in 2001, at a time when she was also being sexually assaulted by the millionaire Jeffrey Epstein. The prince’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler, said the claim is “unfounded.”

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The prince’s lawyers had claimed that the evidence that Giuffre does not reside in U.S they were so strong that there was no point exchanging evidence until that issue was resolved, because it could result in the claim being dismissed.

They claimed that Giuffre has settled in Australia all but two of the past 19 years, she has an Australian driver’s license and lives in a $ 1.9 million home in Perth, Western Australia, where she has been raising three children with her husband, who is Australian.

In a statement, Giuffre’s attorney, Sigrid McCawley, said that the request to stop the case was “just another in a series of long-standing attempts by Prince Andrew to evade the legal merits of the case. case that Virginia Giuffre has filed against him. All parties to a litigation are subject to showing requested documents and Prince Andrew is no exception. “

In his one-page warrant, Kaplan underscored that the prince’s lawyers have requested that Giuffre hand out “extensive” materials by January 14, including documents related to where she has lived and said the prince’s lawyers have not yet formally raised the defense that the lawsuit cannot proceed on the grounds that Giuffre has been living in Australia and not Colorado, where her lawyers say she is a resident.

On the cover of a lawsuit filed in September 2015, Giuffre said his address is in Penrose, Colorado. On the cover of an April 2019 lawsuit, she said her address was in Palm Cove, Australia, and checked a box as “citizen or national of a foreign country.” However, in his lawsuit against the prince, he indicated that his address was Ocean Reef, Western Australia, but checked a box that said “citizen of another state.”

The judge had no opinion in his order on the merits of the prince’s claims that Giuffre should not be allowed to sue because he lives in Australia.

The oral arguments by video teleconference on the request of the the prince that the case is dismissed are scheduled for Monday morning.

In October, the prince’s lawyers sought to have the suit dismissed on various grounds, stating that Giuffre she had made false claims against Prince Andrew because he “never sexually abused or assaulted” her.

“Giuffre has started this unfounded lawsuit against the prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him. The abuse committed by Epstein vs. Giuffre it does not justify his public campaign against Prince Andrew, “according to written arguments.

Epstein committed suicide in a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking.

After a month-long trial, his ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was convicted Wednesday on charges including sex trafficking and conspiracy.

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The Associated Press does not typically identify people who claim to be victims of sexual assault unless they choose to come forward publicly, as Giuffre has done.

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