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Sexual assault: US judge rejects Prince Andrew’s challenge

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Prince Andrew’s efforts to block a lawsuit by a woman who says the prince sexually assaulted her when she was 17 – on the grounds that she no longer lives in the United States – have been rejected by a US federal judge, while pleadings were to continue on Monday on the prince’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, in a written order on Friday, told the prince’s attorneys they must deliver the documents according to the schedule set in Virginia Giuffre’s August lawsuit.

She claims that she was assaulted by the prince on several occasions in 2001, when she was under the influence of financier Jeffrey Epstein. Prince’s lawyer Andrew Brettler said the lawsuit was unfounded.

The order was filed three days before the scheduled release Monday of the 2009 settlement agreement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre.

Prince Andrew’s lawyers say the deal protects the prince against claims such as those brought by Virgiania Giuffre and will be sufficient grounds for dismissing the lawsuit.

Lawyers for the prince had claimed that the evidence was so strong that Virginia Giuffre does not reside in the United States that there was no point exchanging evidence until this issue was resolved, as it could result in the rejection of the pursuit.

They argued that Virginia Giuffre had lived in Australia for all but two of the past 19 years, had an Australian driver’s license, and lived in a $ 1.9 million house in Perth, Western Australia, where she was raising three children with her husband, who is Australian.

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