Prince Andrew’s defense is that Virginia Giuffre was old enough to consent at 17

There was some small movement in Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against Prince Andrew. Monday was one of the deadlines for Andrew’s legal team to offer some kind of defense for why Giuffre’s lawsuit should be thrown out of New York court. One of the reasons why Giuffre was finally able to sue Andrew is because federal and state laws have gradually changed to aid victims seeking financial restitution. That’s especially true in New York, with the Child Victims Act, which is the law Giuffre and her team are using to sue Andrew. So, Andrew’s defense is that the law doesn’t apply because Virginia was 17 years old when she was trafficked to him by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

Prince Andrew is making another effort to throw out the civil case being brought against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with the queen’s son. In a filing Monday evening, Andrew, who just hours earlier was photographed horse-riding near his home in Windsor Great Park, also asked the presiding judge to keep under seal some of his responses to Giuffre’s allegations.

Andrew controversially asked Judge Lewis Kaplan to dismiss Giuffre’s complaint, arguing that New York’s Child Victims Act, the legislation under which she is suing him, is flawed because it classifies those under the age of 18 as minors, but the age of consent in New York is 17, the London Times reports. Giuffre alleges that she was 17 when she was forced to have sex with the prince multiple times and at various locations around the world in 2001.

The London Times reports the new filing from Andrew’s legal team argues the Child Victims Act is “not a reasonable mechanism to address the injustice of child sexual abuse in New York” because it classifies under-18s as minors “even though the age of consent in New York is 17.” Andrew is arguing “the issue of consent is unsettled with regard to those—like Giuffre—who were between the ages of 17 and 18.”

The Times says Andrew’s legal team, headed by Andrew Brettler, acknowledge in the paperwork that it would be possible to prove lack of consent by showing evidence of an “implied threat” being made, but it would be difficult to prove “as memories fade, false memories are created, and witnesses die or otherwise become unavailable.” The filing adds, they report: “Here, the only witnesses to the purported implied threats under which Giuffre allegedly engaged in unconsented sex acts with Prince Andrew are Epstein (deceased), Maxwell (incarcerated), Prince Andrew (the accused), and Giuffre herself.”

The Times also reports that Andrew says he should be protected from legal action by Giuffre under the terms of a settlement she made with Epstein in 2009. The Times said Kaplan “agreed a delay to January 14 last night.”

[From The Daily Beast]

It seems like a technicality but it does concern me that Andrew’s lawyers are so focused on the technical aspects of Virginia’s accusations. That being said, Virginia has been gathering evidence of her own abuse for decades already, and it’s been established that she was groomed and trafficked as a young teenager, and that Maxwell and Epstein “gave” her (trafficked her) to men. When it comes to human trafficking, it’s not about the age of the victim (adult women can be victims of trafficking), it’s about the threat, the control, the very real danger. If someone has your passport and has been grooming you from the age of 14, your age doesn’t actually matter. So, basically, Andrew’s legal team is arguing that Virginia was “old enough” for what he did to her, and that she’s a sl-t who already got enough money from Epstein and Maxwell. Just to summarize.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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