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U.S. Judge sets January date for hearing in sexual abuse civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew

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U.S. Judge sets January date for hearing in sexual abuse civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew

A New York judge has set a date to hear Prince Andrew’s plea for dismissal of the sexual assault case brought against him by Jeffrey Epstein accuser, Virginia Roberts.

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Judge Lewis Kaplan said the court would hear ‘the defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint’ on the morning of January 4 next year.

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A complaint was filed in Manhattan federal court by Virginia Giuffre, who accussed the Duke of York, 61, of sexually assaulting her when she was a minor over 20 years ago.

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Ms. Giuffre alleges that late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein lent her out for sex with his wealthy and powerful associates, including Andrew.

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She says the prince assaulted her at Epstein’s home in New York, as well as on his private island in the US Virgin Islands.

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Ms. Giuffre alleges that Andrew also sexually abused her at the London home of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.

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Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges she helped recruit and groom underage girls for Epstein to abuse. Her trial begins on November 29. 

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The 38-year-old, who was known as Virginia Roberts at the time of the allegations, is also expected to request the Duke of York gives testimony under oath.

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Her lawyer David Boies said that he would seek to depose between eight and 12 people while the Duke’s lawyers wanted to question a similar number.

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It is possible that Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, could be called to give evidence after Mr Boies told the court he intended to formally speak with two British witnesses.

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The prince has not been charged with crimes and has denied the allegations made against him.

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He has also accused her of trying to profit from accusations against Epstein, who Giuffre says also abused her, and people who knew him. 

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Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail in August 2020 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. A medical examiner called his death a suicide.

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Andrew denies the charges and has called for the complaint to be dismissed, saying it was ‘without merit’ and that Giuffre was seeking to profit financially from the case.

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