Lawyers for an American woman that claims HRH Prince Andrew sexually abused their client when she was 17 will probably be tried in New York in January. If the case survives a legal challenge by Prince Andrews’s legal team.
Prince Andrew’s legal team has asked the court to dismiss the civil lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, who says she was coerced into sexual encounters with Prince Andrew in 2001 by the financier Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein allegedly killed himself while awaiting trial on unrelated sex trafficking charges in New York City.
Prince Andrew’s legal team says he never abused Giuffre and accuse her and her lawyer of seeking “a payday” at Andrew’s expense.
U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said a trial date would likely fall between September and December 2022. The Judge also said that the date could change because courthouse covid protocols limit how many trials can occur at one time.
Prince Andrew’s lawyers to depose witnesses
Wednesday’s video conference lasted less than 10 minutes with the judge and two lawyers, David Boies for Giuffre and Andrew Brettler for Prince Andrew.
Both attorneys said they expected to depose eight to 12 individuals. Including Giuffre and Prince Andrew, and a number of potential witnesses.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, is scheduled to go to trial this month on criminal charges. Prosecutors allege she procured teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.
Potential jurors for that trial begin filling out prosecution and defense questionnaires Thursday. Opening statements in Maxwell’s trial are scheduled for Nov. 29. She has pleaded not guilty.
Giuffre’s lawyers have accused Ghislaine Maxwell of being involved in procuring her to Prince Andrew and other powerful men. However, Giuffre’s allegations aren’t part of the criminal case.
Maxwell’s lawyer on Wednesday again asked the Judge to free her on bail. Lawyer Bobbi Sternheim said surveillance of Maxwell at the prison was “disturbing and invasive.”
U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan has rejected Maxwell’s application for bail three times. Even after she offered to post millions of dollars in bail.
Maxwell pleads for bail
Maxwell has had to wear shackles on her ankles and waist and handcuffs on her wrists during court appearances.
Her lawyer complained that when Maxwell was brought to a courthouse Monday, she was forced to sit alone for hours in a small chilly cell. She was allegedly poked in the leg by a guard when she fell asleep.
In her renewed request for bail, Sternheim said Maxwell has been subjected to physical and emotional abuse by jail guards. She is kept in unsanitary living conditions, given insufficient nutrition, and has sleep deprivation because the guards shine a light into her cell every 15 minutes as she sleeps.
Ms. Maxwell has cameras on her constantly, one camera follows her as she moves everywhere. She is also constantly under surveillance even during confidential attorney-client conferences,” her lawyer said. The lawyer also told the judge that Maxwell had lost hair and at least 15 pounds while in custody.
Sternheim also said her client is subject to numerous pat searches daily. She has also been sexually touched by corrections officers on multiple occasions.
Sternheim said Maxwell’s surveillance and harassment are an overreaction to Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged suicide in jail.
The Associated Press