Monday, October 18, 2021
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British police drop investigation into Prince Andrew sexual assault lawsuit

LONDON — British police said Monday that they would take no action after reviewing a document related to a U.S. civil sexual assault lawsuit filed against Queen Elizabeth II’s son, Prince Andrew.

Virginia Giuffre, who has accused Andrew of sexually abusing her when she was a teenager, filed the suit in August in New York’s Southern District. The suit alleges that convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died by suicide in 2019 after he was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges, and his longtime associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, compelled her to engage in sexual acts with Andrew 20 years ago.

She sued Andrew under New York State’s Child Victim’s Act, alleging he committed “rape in the first degree.”

Andrew, the Duke of York, has always vehemently denied the allegations. In a 2019 interview with the BBC, he said he has “no recollection” of ever meeting Giuffre. He also suggested that a photograph of them together with Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell could have been doctored.

The suit alleges that Andrew abused her at three locations — in London and New York and at Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, when she was under the age of 18. It mirrors claims that Giuffre, now 38, previously detailed to NBC’s “Dateline.”

The Metropolitan Police based in London said in the statement that it “continues to liaise with other law enforcement agencies who lead the investigation into matters related to Jeffrey Epstein.”

In June 2020, federal prosecutors in New York formally requested through the British government to speak with Prince Andrew.Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP – Getty Images

However, its investigation into the document released in August has concluded and no action will be taken. The police also confirmed it had ended its review of Maxwell and allegations reported by Britain’s Channel 4 in June that she trafficked, groomed and abused girls and women in the U.K.

Maxwell, who is British, is in jail in the U.S. awaiting trial on charges that she recruited teenage girls for Epstein to abuse. She pleaded not guilty in federal court this year and has long denied any wrongdoing. 

Police chief Cressida Dick said in August that “no one is above the law.”

The police department had previously looked into claims related to Epstein. After taking legal advice it decided not to pursue further action because the activities involved took place mainly outside its jurisdiction.

After the news of Monday’s police decision in the U.K., the hashtag #abolishthemonarchy and #PrinceAndrew trended on social media, with some users suggesting that the police decision to forgo further action was reached because of Andrew’s royal background.

Ninth in line to the throne, Andrew has said previously that he first met Epstein in 1999 and had stayed at a number of his residences, but saw him infrequently. The controversy over their relationship and his disastrous interview on the BBC led to his stepping away from his royal duties in 2019.

In June 2020, federal prosecutors in New York formally requested through the British government to speak with Andrew as part of their criminal investigation into Epstein, according to a person familiar with the matter. His lawyers responded that they had offered his help as a witness on at least three occasions.


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