Washington Post: January 2, 2015
Prince Andrew was named this week in an ongoing lawsuit brought by a group of women who claim they were trafficked to the world’s rich and powerful as part of an alleged underage “sex slave” ring run by American investment banker Jeffrey Epstein.
The allegation, found in a court filing this week, prompted Buckingham Palace to issue an unusual statement to the Guardian, noting that the allegation surfaced in “long-running and ongoing civil proceedings in the United States to which the Duke of York is not a party.” The statement continues: “As such we would not comment in detail. However, for the avoidance of doubt, any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.”
As part of a 2008 plea deal with prosecutors, Epstein spent 13 months in prison on a state charge of soliciting prostitutes. According to unsealed documents pertaining to that deal, Epstein was the subject of a federal investigation probing allegations that the powerful figure abused dozens of underage girls at his Palm Beach mansion. The deal effectively allowed him to avoid potential federal charges stemming from the investigation.
The lawsuit, filed in 2008 by two anonymous alleged victims, charges federal prosecutors with violating a statute by not consulting with them before finalizing the plea deal. The latest filing is a motion to expand that existing case to include the allegations of two more women.
Those women named Prince Andrew, Alan Dershowitz and other powerful associates of Epstein as participants in the alleged sexual abuse ring. It’s the first time the Duke of York’s name has appeared in a court document alleging that he sexually abused Epstein’s alleged victims.
But as the Guardian’s reporting makes clear, this isn’t the first time the Duke of York’s name has been linked publicly to the allegations against Epstein: Prince Andrew was friends with Epstein for years — before, during and after the banker served time in prison. In 2011, responding to a statement from one of Epstein’s former employees, Prince Andrew told Vanity Fair that he never attended any of the notorious pool parties at Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion and denied having contact with the alleged victims. He allegedly ended his friendship with Epstein at some point that year.
In the new motion, “Jane Doe #3″ says she was “forced to have sexual relations with this Prince when she was a minor in three separate geographical locations,” including in British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell’s apartment in London; during an “orgy” on Epstein’s island in the U.S. Virgin Islands; and in New York.
“Epstein instructed Jane Doe #3 that she was to give the Prince whatever he demanded and required Jane Doe #3 to report back to him on the details of the sexual abuse,” the document says. Maxwell is a friend of Epstein’s who is named as a co-conspirator in the suit.
(read the full article at Washington Post)
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